Monday, November 14, 2016

20,000 join march against illegal drugs in Legazpi City
By Rhadyz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 14 (PNA) -- An estimated 20,000 Legazpenos threw their support to the fight illegal drugs by joining a march-rally called “Lakad laban sa Droga” (walk against drugs) in the city’s main thoroughfare on Monday afternoon that was spearheaded by the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) of the city government.

Participants to the march, which were composed mainly of students from the elementary, high school and college levels, marched a five-kilometer stretch from the City’s Central Business District up to Penaranda Park in Old Albay, a stone’s throw away to the City Hall and Provincial Capitol.

They waved banners urging the youth and their parents to spend "quality time" together so they can “listen to each other” and the battle against illegal drugs be won.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal called the rally one of the biggest assemblies of participants since it was first held eight years ago.

He said the participants from various schools were joined by barangays, private and government offices, groups of senior citizens, women’s organizations, youth and civic organizations and composite forces of government troops.

Rosal acknowledged the help of village officials, school authorities and the Diocese of Legazpi headed by Bishop Joel Baylon for supporting the city’s advocacy against illegal drugs.

He said CADAC’s program has greatly increased public awareness on the drug menace.

“A few years ago, only a thousand were joining our advocacy rallies but today the public has shown their strongly support for our anti-drug campaign by showing up big numbers to the march-rally,” said Rosal.

Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, director of Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5), said that since the launch of Oplan Tokhang in July, PRO5 has listed some 56,903 drugs surrenderees in Bicol, 52,926 of whom were users and 3,977 pushers, while 75 have been killed.

“If we work together, we will get rid of the illegal drug trade in the country…Let us continue to be partners in making our communities safer and a more conducive place where we could live, work and do business,” he said. (PNA) LAP/GVR/RBB/EDS