PNP side­lined in anti-drugs war

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page -

PRES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte has stripped the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) of its role in the gov­ern­ment's drug war as he des­ig­nated the Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (Pdea) as the “sole agency” to carry out anti-drug op­er­a­tions.

In a mem­o­ran­dum signed on October 10, the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive in­structed the PNP to let the PDEA han­dle all the op­er­a­tions con­cern­ing the drug men­ace, as pro­vided by Com­pre­hen­sive Dan­ger­ous Drugs Act of 2002, or the Repub­lic Act (RA) 9165.

The PDEA was cre­ated un­der RA 9165 in a bid “to safe­guard the in­tegrity of its ter­ri­tory and the well-be­ing of its cit­i­zenry, par­tic­u­larly the youth, from the harm­ful ef­fects of dan­ger­ous drugs

on their phys­i­cal and men­tal well-be­ing.”

Apart from the PNP, Duterte in­formed the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI), Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP), Bureau of Cus­toms (BOC), Philip­pine Postal Of­fice (PPO) and all other agen­cies or any and all ad-hoc anti-drug op­er­a­tions about his or­der del­e­gat­ing the PDEA as the only agency to con­duct si­mul­ta­ne­ous nar­cotics raids.

“Leave to the PDEA, as the sole agency, the con­duct of all cam­paigns and op­er­a­tions against all those who di­rectly or in­di­rectly, and in what­ever man­ner or ca­pac­ity, are in­volved in or con­nected with, il­le­gal drugs,” the mem­o­ran­dum read.

Duterte said all in­for­ma­tion or data re­ceived by the NBI, PNP, AFP, BOC, PPO and all other “shall forth­with be re­layed, de­liv­ered or brought to the at­ten­tion of the Pdea for its ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.”

The Pres­i­dent also gave the di­rec­tive to the po­lice force to merely main­tain vis­i­bil­ity “as a de­ter­rent to il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­i­ties.”

“The PNP shall, at all times, main­tain po­lice vis­i­bil­ity, as a de­ter­rent to il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­i­ties leav­ing to the PDEA, how­ever, the con­duct of anti-il­le­gal drug op­er­a­tions as aforestated,” he said.

Duterte’s or­der came on the heels of con­tro­ver­sial drug op­er­a­tions car­ried out by the PNP, which re­sulted in deaths of sus­pects.

The Pres­i­dent’s bru­tal crack­down on nar­cotics sale earned the pub­lic’s ire af­ter at least three teenagers were killed in drug raids.

In Jan­uary, Duterte sus­pended the PNP’s war on il­licit drug trade fol­low­ing the ab­duc­tion-slay of Korean busi­ness­man Jee Ick-Joo by po­lice­men in the guise of the drug war.

In an ex­ec­u­tive or­der is­sued in March, the Pres­i­dent man­dated the PNP to sup­port PDEA’s fight against il­le­gal drugs. SunS­tar Philip­pines

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