by Ofelia C. Empian
BONTOC, Mountain Province – Philippine National Police Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa has urged the community of Mountain Province to help the Duterte administration in its fight against illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa, who was the guest of honor and speaker on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of Mountain Province on April 7, has lauded the province for achieving a drug-free status.
“We have to finish this war. The only way to finish this war is the 100 percent support of the community,” de la Rosa said.
Mountain Province is one of the five provinces in the Cordillera declared drug-free by the Police Regional Office-Cordillera. Other provinces are Abra, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Apayao.
The police chief said the province should do what it can to maintain its drug-free status.
“We are living in a fluid situation but we should do our best to maintain this status,” he said.
On drug rehabilitation, Dela Rosa acknowledged the various local government units are handicapped when it comes to providing rehabilitation areas to drug surrenderees.
But he said they are welcoming community-based drug rehabilitation programs in various local government units in the country. He said the PNP has no program on drug rehabilitation at the regional level but the regional police are there to assist the LGUs especially those without programs in their area.
C/Supt Francis Elmo Sarona, PRO-Cor director, said among other regional police offices in the country, the regional command is the only one that yielded negative results in the conduct of drug tests within their ranks.
Sarona said they ensured a drug-free workplace by subjecting their personnel in a mandatory surprise drug test.
“And we are proud to say that, PRO-Cor earned the distinction, as far as internal cleansing is concerned, to be the only police regional office in the entire country where not a single member turned positive on illegal drug use,” Sarona said.
He added they are now monitoring the 19 barangays in Baguio and three barangays in Benguet for the whole region to be declared as a drug-free area soon.