Village chief: I did not know...

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Monday, March 30, 2015


DULJO Fatima Barangay Captain Elmer Abella admitted he knows the owner of the house that police raided in his barangay last Friday night, but he said he is not aware it was used as a drug and gambling den.

He did not know that drug users, including minors, would buy and sniff shabu in the house located some 30 meters from the barangay hall, that is why he had nothing to report to the police about it, he said.

Abella said yesterday that he heard of other drug dens operating in his barangay, and that he has relayed this information to the police through some channels so it can be verified.

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Jaguar

In his news conference yesterday, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama challenged Abella, Cebu City Police Office officer-in-charge Marciano Batiancela Jr., a Napolcom official residing in Duljo Fatima, and south district Congressman Rodrigo Abellanosa to work together in wiping out drugs in the barangay, lest they face complaints for not doing anything to address the situation.

He specifically asked them to help in the arrest of a drug personality residing in the barangay known as “Jaguar,” who reportedly supplies illegal drugs there.

Mao na ang hagit nako nila, mao na ang akong gisulti ni Jun Batiancela… gukda ng tawhana kay maluoy ta sa mga gagmayng bata…(I challenge them, that’s what I told Jun...go after these people because it’s affecting small children) That’s a challenge to Elmer… dili mahimo na magpangikog siya (He shouldn’t shy away from it). There should be no sacred cow… Kinahanglan ila ng buhaton kay if dili na nila buhaton, sila man sad ang makiha ana (They have to do it because if not, they can be held legally liable),” Rama said.

When told that drug personalities could go after Abella, the mayor said, “Don’t be afraid. The mayor will protect you if there is anyone threatening you.”
In phone interview yesterday, Abella, a Team Rama ally, said he is dismayed that his barangay’s reputation is once again tainted following the anti-drug operation last Friday night, where five minors aged nine to 14 were caught sniffing shabu.

Patrols

Eleven adults were arrested by the City Intelligence Branch during the buy-bust in the drug den located in an interior road just some 30 meters from the barangay hall.

Following the operation, Abella said that he instructed barangay tanods and councilors to conduct patrol every night and to include interior roads, where other suspected drug dens operate.

He said they are also implementing a 10 p.m. curfew for minors to keep them off the streets at night and away from illegal activities.

Last Sunday, or two days after the raid, Abella said he visited the drug den and told the relatives of the owner to stop the illegal activity.

Kaila ta nila kay mga taga diri ra man… mao to ako silang giingnan na dili na gyud ni maayo kay hasta gagmayng bata baligyaan na man nila ug shabu. Imbis malipay ta na menos-menos na unta ang illegal drugs sa among barangay, nadaot na sad ta ani (We know them...that’s why I told them that it’s not right to sell shabu to young children. The barangay was proud that we have reduced illegal drugs in the barangay, then this happened),” Abella told Sun.Star Cebu.

He said the drug den is not near the barangay hall and is located in an interior area of the village, that’s why illegal activities there are difficult to detect.

“I don’t have any idea what’s going on inside that house because that’s in the interior, far from the barangay. I’ve heard of another house operating a drug den and we already informed the police about that,” he added.

Dr. Ester Concha, head of the Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS), said the City Government will extend livelihood assistance to the mothers of the young boys so they can provide for and look after their children better.

“Based on our assessment, the children were really neglected becasue of poverty. Their mothers are solo parents and are the only ones making a living, and they can barely look after their children,” Concha said yesterday.

She said the mothers will be trained on commercial cooking so they can set up their own eatery.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2015.

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