PDEA vows 'less bloody' war on drugs

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page -

PHILIP­PINE Drug En­force­ment Agency (PDEA) Direc­tor Gen­eral Aaron Aquino as­sured Thurs­day that the govern­ment's drug war will be less bloody.

In a mem­o­ran­dum dated Oc­to­ber 10, Pres­i­dent Duterte as­signed the PDEA as the "sole agency" in charge of the anti-il­le­gal drugs op­er­a­tions. Aquino said he in­structed his men to abide by the law as they con­duct anti-il­le­gal drugs op­er­a­tions.

He even in­vited the me­dia to join them in all their op­er­a­tions.

"I'm ask­ing all the me­dia to join me in all my op­er­a­tions, you're all wel­come and la­hat ng op­er­a­tions ko isama

natin ang me­dia, may body cams kami and ev­ery­thing," Aquino said.

Aquino, who took of­fice in Septem­ber after his re­tire­ment from the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP), said that since July 1, 2016, only 28 drug per­son­al­i­ties were killed by PDEA op­er­a­tives dur­ing op­er­a­tions.

"Sila po yung nakal­a­ban namin and I can as­sure the public that this 28 are le­git­i­mate op­er­a­tions," he said.

[They were the ones who the PDEA had fire­fight with and i can as­sure the public that this 28 are le­git­i­mate op­er­a­tions.]

How­ever, Aquino said they will still need the as­sis­tance of the PNP in im­ple­ment­ing the govern­ment's war on drugs not­ing that the agency only has at least a thousand op­er­a­tives.

He said the PDEA will lead the op­er­a­tions but mem­bers of other law en­force­ment agen­cies will be in­cluded.

Aquino said con­sid­er­ing their lim­ited man­power, the PDEA will fo­cus on "high im­pact op­er­a­tions" which in­cludes iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and dis­man­tling of shabu lab­o­ra­to­ries, chem­i­cal stor­age places, mar­i­juana plan­ta­tions, drug dens, and shabu tiangges.

"Alam ko mahi­hi­ra­pan kami, there will be a lot of ob­sta­cles and chal­lenges along the way but I can as­sure the public na kakayanin namin itong tra­baho na 'to, na­pakahi­rap dahil nga con­sid­er­ing ang am­ing man­power ay dalawang libo lang kami and this is the num­ber of per­son­nel al­ready op­er­at­ing in the re­gion," Aquino said.

[I know it will be hard for us. There will be a lot of ob­sta­cles and chal­lenges along the way but I can as­sure the public that we can do this job. It's a chal­lenge con­sid­er­ing our man­power which is around 2,000 that al­ready in­cludes those op­er­at­ing in the re­gions.]

Mean­while, PDEA spokesper­son Der­rick Carreon said al­though they are bound to fol­low the rule of law, they will not hin­der their men to do self-de­fense es­pe­cially if the sit­u­a­tion calls for it.

He said they will as much as pos­si­ble try to avoid armed con­fronta­tion with the sus­pects.

"Ang pangya­yari po kasi dur­ing op­er­a­tions can­not be pre­dicted, but of course we fol­low the march­ing or­ders of the Pres­i­dent, who said that the drug prob­lem has to be stopped by all means that the law al­lows. The fight will be re­lent­less, and it will be sus­tained," he said.

[We can­not pre­dict what will hap­pen dur­ing op­er­a­tions but of course, we fol­low the march­ing or­ders of the Pres­i­dent, who said that the drug prob­lem has to be stopped by all means that the law al­lows. The fight will be re­lent­less, and it will be sus­tained.]

"But if and when the sit­u­a­tion calls for it, our agents, just like our coun­ter­parts from the po­lice, and other law en­force­ment agen­cies, kailan­gan po nam­ing ipag­tang­gol ang am­ing mga sar­ili, ang am­ing mga kasama­han at la­long lalo na po yung mga tao na nasa paligid namin ha­bang kami'y nagsasagawa ng op­er­a­tions," he added.

[But if and when the sit­u­a­tion calls for it, our agents, just like our coun­ter­parts from the po­lice, and other law en­force­ment agen­cies, we need to de­fend our­selves, our men and the peo­ple around us while we are con­duct­ing op­er­a­tions. SunS­tar Philip­pines

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