Albayalde still has Duterte’s trust despite drug recycling controversy – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   September 26, 2019   •   477

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) and National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (L) review honor guards during the 117th Philippine National Police (PNP) police service anniversary in Quezon City, Philippines, 08 August 2018. EPA-EFE/STR

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte maintains his trust on Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde despite allegations of involvement in illegal drug recycling controversy.

“Until such time as the President says otherwise, he remains in full trust and confidence of the commander-in-chief,” Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, referring to Albayalde, in a briefing following the Chief Executive’s meeting with the PNP chief and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino.

This was the Palace’s response to controversies hounding the police official on his alleged links with policemen who recycle confiscated illegal drugs from drug suspects.

According to Panelo, Albayalde already reported to the President that the alleged syndicate of ninja cops was already disbanded during the time of former PNP Chief and now Senator Ronald Dela Rosa.

What remained, Panelo said, were only police scalawags involved in corruptions and various operations involving illegal drugs.

“Ang difference daw is iyong ninja cops was a syndicate (The difference was the ninja cops were part of a syndicate),” Panelo said.

“Kumbaga talagang may conspiracy, may mga link ang bawat isa. Pero itong mga police scalawags, kaniya-kaniya… kaniya-kaniyang kita (They said there was a conspiracy going on. They have established links. But these police scalawags are working individually),” he added.

Malacañang maintains that the ongoing internal cleansing among the ranks of the PNP, as well as the Duterte Administration’s anti-drug war, remains effective.

Proof to this are the arrests made on 124 police scalawags in entrapment operations.

Meanwhile, Panelo said, it is still up to the President to decide on whether or not to divulge the names of PNP personnel allegedly involved in illegal drugs operations. — MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

P1-M worth of illegal drugs seized in Taguig, 3 arrested

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2020

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Wednesday (June 17) seized P1 million worth of suspected illegal drugs in a buy-bust operation in Taguig City. Three individuals were arrested.

According to PDEA Spokesperson Derrick Carreon, the suspects might have found out that they were transacting with authorities which led to a small encounter.

“Nakatunog yata, ayun pinagbabangga niya na iyong sasakyan ng tropa (They suspected something so they hit the vehicle used by our troops), so in order to immobilize his vehicle, they shot his tire,” he said.

No one was injured during the encounter and authorities arrested Edwin Pascual, Vyron Flores, and Allan Mendoza and 200 grams of shabu were seized.

The suspects will face charges for violating Section 5 and Section 11 of Republic Act 9165 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Lacson backs appointment of Villanueva as PDEA chief

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday lauded the appointment of Wilkins Villanueva as the new director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a statement, Lacson described Villanueva as a “good and professional officer who is fit for the job,” and noted his “long career in drug enforcement.”

“The President couldn’t have appointed a more qualified head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, having served our country for nearly 20 years with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA,” he said.

Lacson, a former national police chief, expressed confidence that Villanueva can handle his task of going after drug suspects amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

“With the challenge of going after drug personalities amid the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he indeed has his work cut out for him,” he said.

“I look forward to working with him, being the Senate Finance Subcommittee Chair and Sponsor of the PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) budgets, among others,” he added.

Villanueva will take over the post previously held by Aaron Aquino, who was assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to lead the Clark International Airport.

Prior to his designation to PDEA’s top post, Villanueva led the PDEA Northern Mindanao.

Wilkins Villanueva is new PDEA Director General

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2020

Wilkins Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Wilkins Villanueva as the new director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), replacing the agency’s outgoing chief Aaron Aquino.

Villanueva, who was assigned as PDEA Region 10 director prior to this appointment, served as the agency’s National Capital Region (NCR) chief.

He also served as head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intelligence and investigation service.

In his social post, Villanueva expressed his gratitude to the President for trusting him to lead the country’s war on drugs.

“I will never fail you, Mr. President!” he wrote.

He also thanked Senator Bong Go and former PNP Chief Senator Ronald dela Rosa for the encouragement and support. 

Meanwhile, there was no mention of the nature of Aquino’s departure from the agency.

Nonetheless, he thanked President Duterte for the opportunity to serve.

“I sincerely thank President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust and confidence and for giving me the opportunity to serve our people and his administration,” Aquino said.

Duterte appointed Aquino to PDEA in August 2017.

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