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PDEA says Ormoc drug free

Mayor Goma glad he didn’t disappoint Ormocanons

ORMOC CITY – Once the socalled Drug Capital of Eastern Visayas, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has declared this city as the f irst “drug free” city in Eastern Visayas. Mayor Richard Gomez is elated at the news, saying that he and his team’s anti-drug drive has bore fruit already.

“I know that the people voted me as mayor because they were already fed up with the drug situation here, and I am happy that I have not disappointed them,” he said. This good news was brought to Mayor Gomez by Agent Cleveland Villamor, provincial PDEA officer, who said their office has already conducted a validation and found out that the city is now “drug free”. Villamor was in the city to distribute certificates to 28 remaining barangays that they now are “drug free,” bringing the total of number of “drug free” barangays in Ormoc to 100 percent. The city has 110 barangays and the largest land area of all cities in Leyte province.

The remaining 28 barangays are the poblacion Districts of 1,4, 13, 17,18, 26, Punta, Naungan, Canadieng, Valencia, Ipil, San Isidro, Brgy. Cabulihan, Libertad, Lao, Alegria, Alta Vista, Margen, Lilo-an, Sabang Bao, Catmon, Concepcion, San Jose, Cogon, Curva, Linao, Tambulilid, and San Pablo.

82 barangays have been previously validated as “drug free” already.In an interview, Agent Villamor said that they have already validated the reports that these 28 ba-rangays have already been cleared of local drug push-ers in the various drives of the police here.However, he added it was important “to main-tain” the city’s status as “drug free because drugs is like dust. Kahit anong linis mo, andyan pa rin,” he said. He warned that officials and residents must remain vigilant.Mayor Gomez, on the other hand, vowed there will be no let-up in the city’s efforts to curb drugs and other criminal activities.“We have regained peace and order in our city, and there is no way we will let criminals come back and rule our streets once more,” he said. “Motornapping”, a common act of thievery here, dropped from 10 to 2 only.During his first days in office, the mayor saw an exodus of drug surrenders. More than 1,000 drug deal-ers and users confessed they were afraid of the may-or because he was an ally of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

In the 2016 elections, Richard Gomez was among the handful of mayoralty candidates who supported Duterte. The President won by a huge margin in Ormoc City.

In his recently deliv-ered State of the City Ad-dress, the mayor reported to his constituents that af-ter he became mayor, the crime rate dropped dra-matically. During the time of his predecessor, there were 16 murder cases that happened. During his time, only 3 occurred. There 26 incidents of robbery during his predecessor, and only 8 during his time.He has also made many firsts in Ormoc City with re-gards to maintaining peace and order. It is the first city in the region to have breathalyzers for its police force to discourage drunk driving.

It is the first city to have speed guns to curb overspeeding, a cause of many deaths hereabouts. Laws and ordinances have been strictly enforced.Mayor Gomez said he believes that when there is discipline, peace and order follows. And when there is peace and order, a city will progress by leaps and bounds.

By Lalaine M. Jimenea

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