Sixteen barangays in the National Capital Regional (NCR) and Bicol Region are to face administrative cases to be filed at the Office of the Ombudsman by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for failure to organize their Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs).
“We will be filing administrative cases at the Ombudsman against the erring barangays officials of the 16 barangays for misconduct of office or dereliction of duty pursuant to Section 60 of the Local Government Code of 1991,” said DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Ano during a joint press conference with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Monday.
He said that the barangays have not yet organized their BADACs despite several directives from the DILG and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
Of the 16 barangays, five are in NCR, all in the City of Manila, which are Barangays 471, 477, 482, 659-A, and 690.
Meanwhile, 11 of them are in Bicol --- 10 in the town of Aroroy, Masbate and one in Gubat, Sorsogon.
In Aroroy, Masbate, the barangays with no organized BADACS are Bagauma, Balawing, Gumahang, Lanang, Macabug, Manamoc, Mariposa, Nabongsoran, San Isidro, and Talabaan.
In Sorsogon province, Barangay Cota na Dado (Poblacion) in the town of Gubat is also confirmed to have no organized BADAC.
The DILG Chief emphasized that the 16 barangay officials will have a chance to defend themselves and undergo due process.
"Public office is a public trust. They are not private citizens. They are accountable of their duties and the public have the right to know if these tasks are delivered by them," he said.
Ano directed DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Dino and Assistant Secretary for External and Legislative Affairs Ricojudge Janvier Echiverri to file the administrative cases at the Ombudsman today.
Check on functionality of organized BADACs
He warned that the filing of cases against barangay officials of the 16 barangays with unorganized BADACs is just the first in a series of cases to be filed by the DILG.
“This is only the first batch because we are still in the process of culling all the reports from our regional and field offices and there are still over 600 barangays with no reports on their BADACs," he declared.
He also revealed that DILG’s monitoring of compliance of barangays in organizing BADACs is just the first step in the process because the Department further monitors the functionality of organized BADACs.
“When we say functional, it means that the concerned local government units (LGUs) have allocated substantial budget for the anti-drug campaign like community-based rehabilitation program," he said.
He said that barangays must have also submitted BADAC action plans to the concerned DILG offices and must have implemented the programs, projects, or activities listed in their action plan.
Functional BADACs, he said, are those that have significantly decreased the number of drug affectations in their barangays as to be validated by the PDEA.
Call for change in barangay level
The DILG Chief said that the Department’s filing of charges against barangays with no BADACs is “to send a strong message to the barangays on their important role in the anti-illegal drug campaign; more so that the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections are just two weeks away.”
“Voters should be wise enough not to vote for incumbents who failed to act on the anti-illegal drugs issues in their respective communities," he pointed out.
He said that among the criteria for a matino candidate is "lumaban at lumalaban sa iligal na droga" (has fought and is fighting against illegal drugs).
“We need barangay officials who support the government's agenda of change. Let the change begin at the barangay level," he exclaimed.
Mayors and governors next
Moreover, ADACs of higher LGUs like the provinces, cities and municipalities are next in line as the DILG Chief announced that the Department is now closely working with the DDB to ensure the creation and functionality of the higher ADACs.
“And we will also not hesitate to file charges against mayors and governors who are proven to have unorganized ADACs as well," he said.
Composition and role of a BADAC
According to DILG Memorandum Circular 2015-63 dated June 16, 2015, a BADAC is to be headed by a barangay chairperson while the vice-chair is a sangguniang barangay member or kagawad who is the chair of the barangay committee on peace and order.
Members of a BADAC are kagawad who chairs the barangay committee on women and family, SK chairperson, school principal (public) or representative, tanod chief or executive officer, representative of a non-government organization, representative of a faith-based organization such as from the Ugnayan ng Barangay at mga Simbahan (UBAS). I counseling and/or rehabilitation; and monitor disposition and progress of drug-related cases filed.