IN THE CAMPAIGN against illegal drugs, law enforcement agencies can only do so much. Local governments can only reach a number of constituents. The key is concerted effort from the level of the barangays.
That is why we have the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC). This is the most important component in this contemporary battle against the drug menace because it is in the barangay level that drug personalities are identified, drug dens pinpointed and users known.
And so, in the wake of Bacolod City’s recent branding as “shabulized” by Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, deputy director for operations of the Bacolod City Police Office, it must be asked: Are the BADACs in Bacolod City functioning?
In the present scheme of things, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Philippine National Police have made strong moves to activate the BADACs. Barangay captains are encouraged and mandated by the Department of Interior and Local Government to submit periodic reports to PDEA and the police on the status of the drug situation in their respective turfs.
This they must do since it is on this level that the whole process of buying, selling and pushing are being done. This cannot escape the eyes and ears posted in the barangays.
What must be done then at this point is to admit that this scourge has become so serious in Bacolod City and even spread to Negros Occidental and unless there is a concerted effort in the community, law enforcement will be ineffective.
Like a giant seven-headed dragon, the drug menace is rearing its ugly head all over Bacolod City and Negros Occidental. The wisdom, creativity and industry seriously running after the drug lords are equaled in terms of tactics because the criminal mind, too, is actively looking for alternatives if their modus operandi is exposed. Clearly, the battle against this menace needs a combined inter-sectoral, interagency, community effort.