LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 13 (PNA) -- More than 150 village office officials, most of them councilmen, watchmen (tanod) and village chiefs, are involved in the illegal drug trade in Albay province, said an official of the Albay Provincial Police Office (PPO).
Arthur Gomez, spokesperson of Albay PPO, said they have listed over 150 village officials who have surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) since the illegal drug campaign started on July 1 up to the present.
He said there are 77 village councilmen, 57 watchmen and 19 village chiefs, 2 treasurers and 3 secretaries or a total of 158 village officials in their drug watchlist.
Gomez added that they have recorded two councilors in the watchlist in the municipal level.
One of the village officials involved in illegal drug trade was Rommel Marticio, head of Barangay Inarado in Daraga town who was killed in a buy bust operation Tuesday afternoon.
Gomez said Marticio, who was in the drug watch list of the PNP two years ago, surrendered under Oplan Tokhang but had continued with his drug peddling activities.
Sr. Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquid, spokesperson of Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5), said 63 people were killed while 46,000 surrendered in the region during the illegal drug campaign from July 1 to Oct 11.
She said over 600 were arrested and 63 killed in the police operations.
Calubaquib said elected officials and government employees were among the more than 400 drug personalities who had surrendered.
Chief Supt. Melvin Buenafe, director of the Bicol police, regional director, said the public officials who surrendered showed willingness to be rehabilitated but he stressed the need for immediate intervention.
“Considering the limited rehabilitation facilities and resources the surrenderers should be assessed and their problem addressed accordingly,” he said. (PNA) LAP/GVR/RBB/EDS