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PDEA declares Pangasinan town as ‘drug-cleared’

July 14, 2020 - Tuesday 2:07 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image REFORMATION CENTER. Officials of the local government unit, police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency pose in front of the Balay Silangan Reformation Center at Basista town Pangasinan on July 10, 2020. The center was inaugurated coinciding with the drug-cleared status declaration of the town. (Photo courtesy of Mayor JR Resuello’s Facebook page)

BASISTA, Pangasinan – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has officially declared this town drug-cleared.

In an interview Monday, Basista chief of police Capt. Arturo Melchor Jr. said the official declaration was originally set in March but due to the pandemic, it was rescheduled.

Melchor said there were a total of 166 drug personalities from the 13 barangays of the town who were either arrested through Oplan Tokhang and other police operations, while some have voluntarily surrendered.

“We aim to sustain the drug-cleared status of the town so that we will not revert to drug-affected just like what happened in some towns. We will not stop monitoring the drug personalities here and we would like to inform our townmates that drug-cleared does not mean there will be no arrest of drug personalities,” he said.

Meanwhile, a reformation center called Balay Silangan was inaugurated coinciding with the drug-cleared declaration on July 10.

Melchor said the Balay Silangan is a joint project of PDEA Pangasinan and the local government unit of Basista.

“This is the first reformation center in the second district of Pangasinan. It has 10-bed capacity complete with facilities and a module of activities for the clients,” he said.

He added there are nine surrenderers who will be the first to undergo reformation in the Balay Silangan.

“Those who will avail of the plea bargaining agreement will need to undergo a community-based rehabilitation program, and for those who are from Basista, they will be housed at the Balay Silangan,” Melchor said. Hilda Austria