Po­lice as­sure trans­parency in drug war

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

THE Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) vowed on Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 6, trans­parency in the con­duct of its anti-nar­cotics ac­tiv­i­ties as part of the gov­ern­ment’s war on dr ugs.

PNP spokesper­son Dionardo Car­los said they will make sure that their anti-nar­cotics agents will be equipped with body cam­eras to en­sure the reg­u­lar­ity of their anti-il­le­gal drugs oper at i ons.

He said they will also make sure that op­er­a­tions will be con­ducted based on their stan­dard op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dures, which al­low barangay of­fi­cials and me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers to wit­ness their op­er­a­tions.

Ear­lier, PNP chief Ron­ald Dela Rosa said they were happy to re­turn to the war on drugs and promised trans­parency in each op­er­a­tion but ad­mit­ted that the pro­cure­ment of the body cam­eras re­mains pend­ing.

“Un­der­ly­ing d’yan is you can­not en­force what you can­not pro­vide. So right now hindi pa ako naka­pag-pro­vide sa kanila ng body­cam dahil nga re­quest natin for the pro­cure­ment of body cam­eras is still pend­ing in Congress. Next year pa tayo makaka-pro­cure so ka­pag na-pro­cure na natin then maybe that’s the time we can en­force the pol­icy nung body cam dur­ing op­er­a­tion nung anti-drug op­er­a­tion and we will do that buy,” he said.

“Right now I am very happy to hear that some of the lgus (lo­cal gov­ern­ment units) are re­act­ing to my ap­peal to buy their anti-drug units ng body cam­eras so ma­g­a­nda yan, ka­pag ba­ba­lik na tayo sa war on drugs ‘yung ibang mga po­lice sta­tions are ready na ng body­cams. This is a wel­come de­vel­op­ment,” he added.

Af­ter al­most two months of not be­ing able to par­tic­i­pate in the gov­ern­ment’s war on drugs, the PNP has been or­dered again by Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte to con­duct anti-le­gal drugs op­er­a­tion along with other gov­ern­ment agenci es.

The PNP was stripped for the sec­ond time in Oc­to­ber of its lead role in the war on drugs af­ter erring po­lice­men were im­pli­cated in ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties re­lated to the anti-nar­cotics cam­paign.

The Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (PDEA) will re­main the lead agency in the cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs while the PNP will only serve as a back-up.

The PDEA, for its part, wel­comed the re­turn of the PNP to the war on drugs not­ing that it has al­ways been their de­sire.

“The PDEA ad­mit­ted that it is un­der­manned, un­der-bud­get and un­der-equipped and there is a need for other law en­force­ment agen­cies par­tic­u­larly the PNP in the fight against il­le­gal drugs,” said PDEA di­rec­tor Aaron Aquino.

From Oc­to­ber 11 to De­cem­ber 4, the PDEA con­ducted a to­tal of 2,161 op­er­a­tions which re­sulted in the ar­rest of 750 drug per­son­al­i­ties and the seizure of P104.10 mil­lion worth of il­le­gal drugs.

Among their ac­com­plish­ments was the seizure of over P5 mil­lion worth of il­le­gal drugs and as­sorted firearms dur­ing a raid on the res­i­dence of Maasim, Sarangani Mayor Aniceto Lopez Jr.

Lopez eluded ar­rest but he sur­ren­dered later on through the as­sis­tance of Se­na­tor Em­manuel Pac­quiao.

The PDEA also ar­rested the daugh­ter of the con­victed “drug queen” Yu Yuk Lai, Diana Uy where they re­cov­ered over P10 mil­lion worth of il­le­gal drugs.

How­ever, de­spite the sig­nif­i­cant ar­rest and seizure of huge amount of il­le­gal drugs, the PDEA ad­mit­ted that the war on drugs had slowed down un­der their lead­er­ship as com­pared to that of the PNP although it has also been less bloody.

From July 1, 2016 un­til Septem­ber 26, 2017, dur­ing the lead­er­ship of the PNP on the war on drugs, 76,863 anti-drug op­er­a­tions were con­ducted which re­sulted in the ar­rested of over 100,000 drugs per­son­al­i­ties and the killing of at least 3,900 oth­ers. (Third Anne Per­alta-Malonzo/ SunStar Philip­pines)

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