Police assure transparency in drug war
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)