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Gov. Sol Matugas serious in curbing illegal drugs

Governor Sol Matugas recently made known her commitment to put an end to the proliferation of illegal drugs in the province in spite of the fact the said underground industry flourished under the protection of syndicates. She revealed her official stand after being asked by a member of the local media during the “Kapihan sa Kapitolyo” held on June 9, 2010 at the Provincial Convention Center, this city.

During an open forum, Jun Lira of Caraga Aksyon Balita asked the lady governor if she had the commitment and political will to unmask and bring to a court of justice the brains behind the said drug syndicates and their protectors composed of law enforcers and some high-ranking LGU officials. Lira wanted to elicit from the chief executive a definite reaction given the fact that it was very risky and dangerous for her to touch the said drug syndicates and their protectors which were all capable of staging reprisals.

In her usual soft-spoken self, Gov. Sol Matugas assured everyone who attended the forum that she really meant business in stopping the drug menace in Surigao del Norte.

“Political will, I have it but I cannot solve this alone without the close coordination of the concerned agencies and the cooperation of the community,” Matugas emphasized.

She expressed apprehension on the unabated proliferation of illegal drugs which even invaded both the private and the public schools.

“This drug menace is a universal concern, an age-old problem and this has got even into the schools,” she observed.

She proposed that random drug testing should be conducted in schools by the Department of Education as one of the preventive measures. Another proposal was to strengthen the prosecution which must be “imbribable or incorruptible” to ensure that suspects will be brought to a court of justice.

To achieve this, the governor said she will come up with a briefing and a dialogue with PDEA personnel and make an action plan involving all concerned government agencies and the community. She told the media that she will also tap the help of the PNP, through the newly-installed provincial director Police Superintendent Ruben Delos Santos.

In the same forum, Surigao del Norte Prov’l. Director Police Superintendent Ruben Delos Santos informed the governor that he was still on the process of formulating a plan in coordination with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and was also scrutinizing the operational plans of the former provincial director against illegal drugs.

“The PNP is very serious on solving this problem and we are extending our efforts to the concerned agency which is the PDEA,” Santos said.

Notoriously known for being on top of the list of provinces in Caraga Region with cases involving illegal drugs, Surigao del Norte for now may be in for the real thing as Governor Sol Matugas has vowed to find a solution to deter or eventually stop the said lingering menace in our province. (ROEL CATOTO, The Agusan-Surigao Enquirer)


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