Facing the menace squarely

IN any campaign be it for personal gains or public interest there must be a sustained effort to realize this, whatever cost it may entail.

And that’s this writer keenly believes the local government of Navotas at the helm of youthful Mayor John Rey Tiangco is doing as shown by the anti-drug operations he has been carrying out over the months and weeks which resulted in the arrest of suspected drug peddlers.

So determined that the city chief executive, who decides to partner with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), zealously came out with a drive not so similar with the “shame campaign” initiated by Manila Mayor Fred Lim in the 1990s as the former would only ask the re-latives of the suspected drug pushers to write through spray paint on the facades of their houses  the  words: “I support a drug-free Navotas.”

The mayor could have been advised against completely imitating the style of Lim who back then personally paint-sprayed on the houses of the suspected drug peddlers and traffickers the messages: “Houses of Pushers, Move Out!”

Lim’s shame campaign, though it had proven to be effective as drug fiends had either abandoned the illegal activities or merely slowed down, was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and certainly that’s what’s on Mayor Tiangco’s mind.

So he made sure all his actions with regard to the no-nonsense anti-drug campaign would be within the legal bounds as he likewise made sure that he could prevail on the residents to support his administration’s stance against all forms of vices and illicit drug activities.

Just over the week, acting on information he gets from concerned residents presumably after putting up posters and tarpaulins in strategic areas which showed his contact numbers so that residents could provide vital clues about a drug pusher in certain areas in the city, he and PDEA swooped down on at least three villages where drug pushing is said to be rampant.

Armed with arrest warrant for over 20 suspected drug pushers, the raiding team led by the mayor and PDEA’s Metro Manila director, Wilkins Villanueva, “saturated” the Barangays of

Tangos, Daang-hari and San Roque where they only caught at least six of them.

Though the operation appeared to be not a total success since the subjects were not completely hauled to jail, it hasn’t stopped there as the mayor went on his plan to conduct the red spray painting in some houses where suspected drug pushers live to remind residents in the area that they should stay away from illegal drugs and shouldn’t emulate them.

What’s good thing with Mayor Tiangco is his being true.

While others may brag and tell to the world that their turfs are drug-free but they do nothing even just to minimize the menace, the mayor is different because he confirms the problem and faces it squarely and with resolve.

There you go.

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