Mayor Isko orders police to rid Baseco of illegal drugs, guns by next week

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2019 04:26 PM | Updated as of Aug 01 2019 05:44 PM

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno holds a press conference at the Manila City Hall, Aug. 1, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Thursday told police officers that the port area of Baseco should be rid of illegal drugs and firearms within a week.

Baseco is among the most notorious parts of the city where even barangay officials carry unregistered guns, Moreno said during his administration’s first meeting with Manila’s Anti-Drug Abuse Council.

“'Pag hindi niyo na-clear ang drugs sa Baseco (If you fail to clear Baseco of drugs), there is no business for you to come here for a meeting next week,” he said.

“Tingnan natin sino may dibdib sa'tin. 'Pag iyon nalinis natin, wala na tayong hindi malilinis,” he said.

(Let's see who has the guts among us. Once we're able to clean that place up, there is no place we cannot clean up.)

Moreno gave the order after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the capital was the most drug-infested city in Metro Manila, with 90 percent of its nearly 900 barangays affected by narcotics trade.

Aside from lowering Manila’s drug use rate, Baseco should be cleared of outlaws to improve the quality of living in the area, said Moreno who once worked as a trash collector in the Philippine capital.

“Bigyan natin ng disenteng tirahan ang ating mga mahihirap na kababayan,” he said. “Hindi porket mahihirap sila dapat magulo na rin ang lugar nila.”

When asked if a possible failure to carry out the order would result into the reshuffling of key police officials in the city, Moreno said: “Basta may mananagot doon.”

“[Kapag hindi naubos in a week], we will extend another day, then another day,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean that on the 8th day we will stop. It will be a continuing operation,” he said.

Barangay officials who would not cooperate with the city government’s anti-drug and anti-loose firearms campaign would face sanctions, Interior Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Diño said.

“Pag yan bumalik, pasensyahan tayo. Yan na yung tinatawag na sanction sa inyo, meaning suspension or dismissal from service,” he said.