City honors supporters in anti-drugs campaign
May B. Miasco/JMO (The Freeman) - December 8, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - In line with the celebration of Drug Awareness Month, the Cebu City Government granted the “lifetime achievement award” to a former lawmaker and retired police official for their anti-drug crusade.

The recognition was given to former Cebu City South District Rep. Antonio Cuenco and retired Police Director General Carmelo Valmoria during the first awarding ceremony spearheaded by Cebu City Anti-Drug Abuse Council and the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention.

“(We acknowledge the) advocates against drug abuse… This is a very laudable undertaking giving recognition to the fighters on illegal drugs but let us not stop here. We shall continue to fight,” said Vice Mayor Edgar Labella during the event at Fort San Pedro last Monday night.

He called for a unified effort among sectors in fighting illegal drugs, specifically in enforcing laws on drug prevention and control. 

“The fight against drugs cannot be won by government alone. It cannot be won by the police themselves. There is a need for community involvement at home, in school and at the church… and educate the parents and students,” Labella said.

Community-based initiatives link to this year’s theme, “Let’s develop our lives, communities, identities without drugs”.

Valmoria, former director of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, has been in police service for 37 years. He retired in July this year. His last post was director of the National Capital Region Police Office.

He shared that the problem can be targeted based on supply reduction (to be addressed by law enforcement agencies) and demand reduction (includes community involvement).

Meanwhile, Cuenco was one of proponents of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which mandates death penalty for drug dealing; death penalty for importing, selling or trading controlled drugs; and death penalty for any government official found guilty of trafficking or of planting drugs, among others.

Apart from the special citation awardees, at least 10 barangays and two public schools were recognized as “drug-free workplaces” after they passed the surprise drug tests administered by COSAP.

Nerissa Antolihao, Barangay Captain of Budlaan and Vic Buendia of Labangon received personally the P50,000 cash prize and certificate for garnering the Best Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council for the city’s North and South districts, respectively.

Also, the Family and Recovery Management Center (FARM) was recognized for the support it extended to COSAP by providing free rehabilitation to Cebu City residents. Its owner, Jimmy Clemente, and operations head Joseph Alain Aliño were acknowledged for their “invaluable cooperation” to the programs of CADAC and COSAP.

At least five “rejuvenated individuals” or recovering addicts also received certificates for their participation in activities COSAP organized such as visiting public high schools and rehabilitation centers where they were able to share their experiences in managing their addiction.

COSAP Chief Dr. Alice Utlang admitted working with people under the influence of drugs was a challenge but “I realize that they are just victims so we have to help them… Save the user and jail the pusher.” – (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ANTONIO CUENCO BARANGAY CAPTAIN OF BUDLAAN AND VIC BUENDIA OF LABANGON CEBU CITY CEBU CITY GOVERNMENT CEBU CITY SOUTH DISTRICT REP CEBU PROVINCIAL POLICE OFFICE DR. ALICE UTLANG DRUG DRUG ABUSE COUNCIL DRUGS
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