The government employee who was recently busted in a drug operation in the Municipality of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte is not an employee of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), according to DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
Año says that the arrested suspect, Gary Cabanit, 38, is a job order worker of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Siocon town assigned by the Municipal Mayor to the DILG-Siocon Field Office.
"Mr. Cabanit is not included in the DILG’s master list of Municipal Local Government Operations Officers (MLGOO) and does not hold an employer-employee relationship with the Department," he says.
"The DILG does not condone any activities of DILG employees or LGU-staff assigned at the DILG field offices involving the use or trade of illegal drugs, most especially inside the office premises," he adds.
Per field report submitted to the DILG Central Office, Cabanit, an alleged member of the Sahibad Drug Group and a drug surrenderer, was arrested by the Siocon Philippine National Police inside the DILG-Siocon field office on 6:37 p.m. Sunday, September 9.
Cabanit, who was listed as a high-value target Level 2 drug personality in the municipality, was the subject of a month-long intelligence build-up and surveillance on his alleged illegal drug trade.
After his arrest, he was brought to the Siocon District Hospital for medical and physical examination and is presently detained at the PNP-Siocon while appropriate charges are being prepared against him pursuant to Republic Act 9165 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
Año directs all DILG field personnel to be vigilant in accepting detailed personnel assigned by the LGU at the DILG field offices and ensure that there will be no repeat of similar incidents across the country.
"As DILG personnel you must uphold the value of matino, mahusay, at maasahang kawani at all times," he says. He maintains his high trust in the LGOOs as the Department's elite corps of public servants, having hurdled the intensive six-month training prior to their conferment and field assignments.
Citing the DILG's recent adoption of “one-strike policy”, the DILG Chief enjoins LGUs to regularly conduct drug testing among their officials and employees to ensure a drug-free workplace.
He urges local chief executives to ensure that drug surrenderers have undergone the proper community-based rehabilitation process before considering them to work for their respective localities.
"As local chief executives, it is your responsibility to ensure that those working for you are clean. Let us work together in ridding our country of illegal drugs," Año stresses.
Under the Department’s one-strike policy, drug testing shall remain a requirement for initial entry to government service for appointive DILG officials and employees, while those who are already in service need to undergo periodic mandatory and/or random drug testing every two years as a condition for retention in government service.