San Andres, Catanduanes – After seven years of an intense campaign against illegal drugs, the town of San Andres, Catanduanes, has been declared a drug-cleared municipality.

On December 14, 2023, the San Andres police, led by PMaj. Emsol Icawat, together with Drug Clearing Focal Person PSSg Maricel B. Masagca, and members of the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC), including Mr. Neil I. Evangelista, MLGOO, Ms. Abegail Peralta, MSWDO, and PLt. Adoracion Suaviso (Ret), Municipal Administrator representing the Mayor of San Andres, underwent deliberation via Zoom with the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC).

In an interview with Radyo Peryodiko, Chief of Police Icawat stated that this success is the result of the active participation of every sector in the community, especially barangay officials and the previous administration, particularly the drug surrenderers who voluntarily joined the anti-illegal drugs program.

One of the hindrances to the declaration was reportedly the elusive most-wanted drug personality. After the suspect was apprehended, the town’s list was finally cleared. According to the PNP, Barangay Cabcab had the highest number of individuals involved in drugs.

On the other hand, it is seen as a significant challenge to further intensify the campaign to prevent any tarnishing of San Andres’s status as a “Drug Cleared” town. The chief urged all sectors of the community to continue cooperating and provide timely information for the immediate arrest of individuals involved in any transactions related to illegal drugs. (FERDZ M. BRIZO/BICOL PERYODIKO NEWS TEAM)