PNP sidelined in anti-drugs war
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