Sleeping with the enemy
The demolition of drug dens in Brgy. Malipayon, Iloilo City last week, where no owner was identified, apparently showed how flawed the leadership in that barangay has become. It is of no wonder that illegal drug menace flourished in that area. In fact, it is becoming the “drug sub-capital” of Iloilo City, as I contend Brgy. Bakhaw still holds the title as the “drug capital” of this city.
The proliferation of illegal drugs in Brgys. Malipayon and Bakhaw is the biggest irony to the presence of barangay leaders in these villages. In the same perspective that the presence of drug dens in these barangays defies the bar of logic. This is so especially when the barangay leaders – from the barangay captain to tanod members – deny awareness of these structures being used for illegal activities. But several anti-illegal drug operations have succeeded in these barangays. Yet the clandestine activities involving the use and sell of the illegal substance remain unabated.
It is truly sad that we have places like Brgys. Malipayon and Bakhaw. It is sad to know that we have their kind of leaders – calloused and indifferent. Worse, despite the way these leaders are, the government has not taken any measure to deal with them accordingly. This inaction of the government against the barangay officials causes illegal drug trade to perpetuate not only in Iloilo City, but also anywhere in the country.
It is high time that authorities must push for stringent measures against barangay officials who fail to watch their folds. The barangay is the smallest political unit, hence, easier to manage and control. Ergo, should the fight against illegal drugs be strengthened in the barangay level, the fight would have not taken this long. But if the barangay officials remain in their callousness and indifference, it will take us three lifetimes to achieve our goal of a crime-free and drug-free community.
The recent demolition of drug dens by Chief Supt. Cipriano E. Querol Jr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog may not be an end in itself but a beginning of more aggressive operations against the drug lords and their cohorts.
But I am also crossing my fingers that they may not get contented with just destroying the drug dens while the illegal drug operators remain scot-free. They must run after the drug lords and bring them before the bar of justice.
The media had provided enough coverage on the demolition of drug dens but such would still be futile if the publicity will not awaken the barangay officials and the residents of Brgy. Malipayon from their deep slumber.
The leaders and the people of Brgys. Malipayon and Bakhaw have been sleeping with the enemies for decades. Thus, only when they recognize that illegal drug personalities are enemies and they start to become allies of the authorities that we can see the new dawn of peace and order in Iloilo City.