CAPAS, Tarlac – Aiming for a drug-free community and society, Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan on Thursday said he will not lower his guard against the illegal drugs syndicate that have been wreaking havoc in this town victimizing thousands of helpless victims.
Catacutan said three of the local government employees are presently undergoing rehabilitation after they fall victims to this kind of prohibited substance. He however declined to identify them but assured them of financial support for their families.
“Three of my employees tested positive of methamphetamine [hydrochloride] during surprise drug test. That’s why I sent them to rehabilitation center instead of firing them. We have to give them chance to recover,” said Catacutan.
Catacutan, who led the “graduation” of 453 illegal drugs victims who underwent six-month community service, encouraged the “reformists” to choose the right path when they return back home to their families and to the society.
“You have all the option, but I’m encouraging all of you to stay away from illegal drugs. Have pity to your family. The money you spend for shabu or marijuana should be spent for your children instead,” Catacutan stress.
Catacutan tagged the “reformist” as ‘slightly used’ victims who were ordered to render community service after they voluntarily surrender to authorities.
He said those hardened traffickers, street peddlers and supplier also known as “overused” were placed in separate reformatory house (Bahay Pagbabago) where they are restricted and strictly guarded until they completed the six months to one-year prescribed period of rehabilitation.
Since the reformatory center was constructed last year, Catacutan said a total of 981 persons, mostly males, have been rescued from the tentacles of illegal drugs syndicate. Last year alone, at least 528 persons have surrendered to authorities through the Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Now that you have succeeded in self-rehabilitation, you have to be productive individuals and keep a tight watch over your fellow,” Catacutan told his audience.
Catacutan urged the “graduates” to apply the knowledge they have learned during skills and livelihood training while in self-rehabilitation. He said they will be top priority in local employment once construction of the Green City begins.
Present during the occasion were Chief Supt. Amador Corpuz, director of Central Luzon PNP, Senior Supt. Richie Posadas, director Tarlac Provincial Police Office (TPPO), Capas, Tarlac LGU administrator Edgar Guevarra, Supt. Roniel Rambaoa, Capas police chief, Supt. Arnel Ramos, incoming chief of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG).