Support of Maguindanao local execs to `war on drugs' cited

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:21 PM  •  172   0
By John Unson
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More than a thousand joined Saturday's anti-illegal drugs fun run in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao . (JOHN UNSON)
More than a thousand joined Saturday's anti-illegal drugs fun run in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao . (JOHN UNSON)
MAGUINDANAO --- Security officials were elated with the enthusiasm of local executives in enforcing Malacañang’s nationwide program against drugs and corruption in Maguindanao province.

The Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Ilegal na Droga, or “MASA MASID,” was launched in Buluan, Maguindanao on Thursday by Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, representatives from the police, the military, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, regional police director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), on Saturday said he is grateful to Maguindanao’s provincial and municipal officials for immediately committing support to the MASA MASID program.

The Police Regional Office-ARMM and PDEA neutralized no fewer than a hundred large-scale drug traffickers in Maguindanao since July 2016 with the help of the provincial government.

Sindac said he is thankful to Mangudadatu and his constituent-mayors and vice mayors for renewing their support to the anti-narcotics campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte during the launching on Thursday of the MASA MASID in Buluan, the capital of Maguindanao.

The event was attended by representatives from the local government department of ARMM and officials of various non-government organizations involved in peace-building projects in Maguindanao’s 36 towns.

“The joint anti-illegal drugs effort of the police, the PDEA and the military will not succeed without the help of the local executives and their patriotic constituents,” Sindac said on Saturday.

Sindac said the office of Mangudadatu, the provincial league of mayors and the traditional elders from the local Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities have been helping the police and PDEA fight drug rings in Maguindanao since Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30 last year.

Mangudadatu’s younger sibling, Khadafeh, a member of ARMM’s 24-seat Regional Assembly, touted as the “Little Congress” of the Autonomous Region, had also promised to help implement the MASA MASID in Maguindanao.

Just a day after the MASA MASID launching in the province, local officials in Shariff Aguak town led a two-kilometer “fun run” by reformed drug dependents, leaders of various sectors, police and Army personnel, to highlight community support to Duterte’s war on drugs.

Senior Superintendent Agustin Tello, director of the Maguindanao provincial police, on Saturday said more than a thousand joined the fun run, where winners received prizes from their mayor, Marop Ampatuan, and Vice Mayor Hadji Akmad Ampatuan.

The municipal peace and order council of Shariff Aguak had worked out the surrender to the police of almost 400 local drug dependents and peddlers  in the past seven months.

Major Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said he is fascinated with the mounting support from Maguindanao's provincial and municipal governments to Duterte’s effort to nip the country’s drug problem from the bud.

"The fun run against illegal drugs on Saturday in Shariff Aguak is a tacit indication that the grassroot sectors are now fully cooperating with the government in addressing the drug problem in the local communities," Galvez said.

He said the recent joint Army-PDEA-police operations in Maguindanao that dismantled big narcotics syndicate were initiated with the full cooperation of LGUs and the provincial government in the province.

Galvez exercises ministerial control over the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, which is helping the ARMM police and the PDEA run after drug peddlers in Maguindanao and their protectors.

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