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Regions Briefs: 52 druggies finish PNP-run rehab program in W. Visayas

/ 12:30 AM April 19, 2017

ILOILO CITY—Amid the rising death toll in President Duterte’s war on drugs, 52 users and pushers completed a rehabilitation program of the Philippine National Police in Western Visayas which could serve as a show window by police to dispute accusations that they are behind hundreds of cases of street executions of drug suspects. The users and pushers were part of the fifth batch of drug suspects who volunteered to go through rehab at Camp Martin Delgado, the regional police camp. Since the program started in October last year, 351 drug dependents had gone through a program initiated by the Western Visayas PNP and administered by the CDO Pathway to Recovery Foundation Inc., a Cagayan de Oro City-based nongovernment organization helping recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. The regional police office supplies snacks. Participants, who have no permanent sources of income, are each given a kilogram of rice and can of sardines to bring home daily. The sessions, which last for a month, are followed by monitoring of the graduates for 90 days by police and village officials. —NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.

Aklan gov’t, church say no to STL

ILOILO CITY—The lawmaking body of the Aklan provincial government continued to oppose the operations of Small Town Lottery (STL) 11 years after it first made formal its position against the supposed government answer to different forms of illegal gambling, particularly the hugely popular “jueteng.” In a new resolution, the provincial board also expressed dismay at the approval by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office of STL operations in Aklan without consulting local governments. The new resolution cited a June 21, 2006 resolution passed by the provincial board opposing STL operations in the province. On Oct. 30, 2007, the provincial board passed another resolution affirming the 2006 resolution. The board said STL was just a “legalized form” of jueteng, a numbers game that had been a source of corruption among national, local and police officials. The Catholic diocese of Kalibo and business operators in Aklan are also opposing the operations of STL in the province. Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc called on the government to stop the “culture of gambling” by giving up STL. —NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.

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P19-M palay lost to damaged irrigation

CITY OF MALOLOS—Damaged irrigation facilities have destroyed P19-million worth of rice crops in eight villages in Bustos town in Bulacan province, the municipal government said. Mayor Arnel Mendoza said the town council was studying how to help farmers in Barangay Bonga Mayor, Bonga Menor, Tibagan, Malamig, Catacte, Buwisan, Liciada and Malawak. The turbine pumps driving water to 700 hectares of farmlands in these villages are undergoing repairs, affecting 400 members of the Angat-Bustos-Pandi Irrigators’ Association. Nomer Sanchez, association president, said each hectare lost crops worth P30,000. —CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE

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TAGS: Aklan provincial government, PNP-run rehab program, small town lottery (STL)
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