KIBLAWAN, a second-class municipality in Davao del Sur with a population of less than 50,000, is proving to be one of the biggest challenges in the illegal drug campaign in the Davao Region, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Regional Director Adzhar A. Albani. “We have difficulty in entering the hinterlands (of Kiblawan),” he said, referring to areas where marijuana plants are grown and guarded by armed men. Mr. Albani also reported that two towns and 46 villages in the region have been declared “drug-free.” The two towns are Matanao, also in Davao del Sur, and Sta. Maria in neighboring Davao Occidental. All the 46 villages are outside Davao City. Mr. Albani said while anti-drug operations are ongoing, they are also validating areas that local officials claim to be free from the drug menace. — Carmelito Q. Francisco