LEGAZPI CITY, March 3 (PNA) —- The groundbreaking of the new home of the Sorsogon Provincial Police Office (PPO) inside the compound of Camp Salvador G. Escudero Sr. in the city was held Friday morning with the top official of the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5) here as guest of honor.
Sr. Insp. Ma. Luisa Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said Chief Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, PRO5 director, led the ceremonies at the groundbreaking of the three-story building that will serve as headquarters of the Sorsogon PPO.
Senior Supt. Ronald Cabral, Sorsogon police chief, said an initial fund of P70 million from a budget of P107 million will be used in constructing the new police headquarters.
He said Senator Francis Escudero had helped realize the allocation of the initial fund of P70 million for the new building inside the more than one-and-a-half hectare compound housing the camp.
“Aside from the three-story facility, another building with condo-type units will be separately constructed inside the camp to house the new police officers and their families,” said Cabral.
Cabral said police officers with the ranks of Police Officer 1 (PO1), Police Officer 2 (PO2) and Police Officer 3 (PO3), who come from other provinces or far flung municipalities in Sorsogon, are qualified to stay in the condo-style units during their tour of duty in the province.
After the groundbreaking ceremonies, Buenafe was also guest of honor during the formal launching of BRAD or Bicol Region Ayaw sa Droga that was held in the afternoon at the Capitol complex.
BRAD was first organized and launched by ordinary citizens, non-government organizations, media and private groups in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Albay as part of their support to the Bicol police’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
After launch of BRAD, the multi-sectoral coalition of various organizations working to eliminate the drug scourge at the grassroots level in Sorsogon province, Cabral himself formally declared the province as “drug-clear.”
Cabral had invited friends from media, local government officials and residents of Sorsogon to watch the public announcement, a key component of the police-community relations program that was mapped out by the Sorsogon PPO so its anti-illegal drug campaign would succeed not just in the provincial level but up to the village level.
In January, PRO5 officials lauded Sorsogon PPO for being the best performer among the six PPOs and one city PPO, that covers the entire Bicol region, for attaining the lowest crime rate in 2016.
Cabral noted that this was realized through the concerted efforts of all members of the community seeking to have genuine peace and order.
PRO5 officials earlier clarified that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is vested with the authority to declare their areas of jurisdiction as “drug clear” while the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or PDEA is the sole authority in giving “drug-free” declarations as based on the parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
The PNP is set to reassume its leading role in the anti-illegal drug campaign on Monday after PDEA took over last month following the controversial killing of a Korean businessman. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JH/CBD