ILOILO City – A total of 290 village watchmen (barangay tanod) in the municipality of Buenavista, Guimaras passed the unannounced drug test conducted on Oct. 22.
The results were announced a few days after.
The drug test, done in the municipal hall, was in line with the campaign of the local government of Mayor Eugene Reyes to keep his municipality drug-free.
The 290 village watchmen were clueless about the drug test. They were summoned to the municipal hall for a training, said Reyes.
“We decided to conduct the surprise drug test to know if there were drug users among the barangay tanod. We’re happy that they all tested negative for prohibited drugs,” said Reyes.
The Department of Health and Bunevaista Rural Health Center did the tests.
More surprise drug tests would be conducted by the municipal government, he added.
“Barangay watchmen help the police maintain peace and order in Buenavista. Part of their job is to monitor suspected drug personalities. We needed to show to the community that they could be trusted,” said Reyes.
Buenavista is a second-class municipality and the largest settlement in the island province of Guimaras. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 50,437 people.
The town acts as a cheaper link between Panay and Negros islands, as opposed to taking a ship directly between the two islands.
The Guimaras Police Provincial Office had vowed to focus on the security measures in six seaports of the island to prevent drug traffickers from making the province a drug transshipment point.
Guimaras’ seaports were the following:
* Jordan wharf in Barangay Rizal, Jordan
* McArthur wharf in Barangay Sto. Rosario, Buenavista
* Tumanda wharf in Barangay Cabano, San Lorenzo
* Sebaste wharf in Sibunag
* Cabalagnan wharf in Nueva Valencia
* Puyo wharf in Poblacion Nueva Valencia
Former Police Regional Office 6 director Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao previously said drug traffickers from Bacolod City and Negros Occidental were using Guimaras seaports to transport their contrabands to Iloilo./PN