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Reject candidates who are into illegal drugs, says PDEA chief

PALO, Leyte – The top official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) urged the voters on the forthcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections not to vote candidates who are into illegal drugs.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, who graced the inauguration of their regional office at Government Center, this town, Wednesday (April 18), also said that if he has his way, he would publicize the names of barangay officials who are into illegal drug trade but would wait instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte on this issue.
Aquino said that he is appealing to the barangay and even SK voters to reject candidates for the May 14 balloting who are into illegal drugs.
This way, the barangays would be freed from illegal drugs and attain the goal of Mr. Duterte to have a drug-free Philippines.
Of the 4,930 villages in the region, 2,952 of them are affected by illegal drug trade.
About 1,618 were already cleared with the remaining 934 villages still to be cleared from the proliferation of illegal substance.
Of the six provinces in the region, Southern Leyte was the first to be declared as drug-cleared while four of the seven cities (Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay and Maasin) were already declared as drug-cleared.
Aquino, meantime, disclosed that based on their watch list, 274 barangay officials are considered to be on the illegal drug trade.
The figure, however, is lower compared to the 289 barangay officials under the list of Malacañang.
He said that while he would like to publicize the names of these barangay officials who are into illegal drug trade, he would still wait for the President to do it.
“Hinihintay ko ang, ang order sa amin ng Department of Interior and Local Government or maybe the President,” Aquino added.
“(But)if I will have my own way and the President orders it, I will publish the names of the village officials involved in illegal drugs so that their constituents will know and they will not vote them,” he added.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)

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