Drug recycling still rampant in PH – PDEA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019   •   284

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino admitted on Monday that drug recycling remains rampant in the Philippines amid the government’s ongoing war against illegal drugs.

Aquino made the admission when he faced senators to defend PDEA’s proposed P2.497-billion budget for 2020.

The PDEA chief said unscrupulous agents of the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies are commonly involved in drug recycling.

“Ang usual na nagiging modus when they seized drugs maybe half of that will be surrendered yun ang ipalalabas nila na yun lang ang na seized nila. The other ones are being kept for future operations or the worst of it is they sell the drugs,” Aquino said.

“Pwedeng pang-plant sir or all other kinds of preparations,” he further stated in response to Senator Panfilo Lacson’s question on whether these illegal drugs are also used in planting evidence in anti-drug operations.

Aquino also revealed they are currently pursuing a female drug lord who has been buying confiscated drugs from government agents.

“Mayroon tayong drug queen dito sa Manila na ginagawa lang ay bumibili ng drugs coming from law enforcement agencies… ‘Pag pumunta ka doon… nagbebenta ka kahit 10 to 20 kilo benta mo, no questions asked bibilhin nila kahit magkano presyo,” he said.

He, however, refused to name the said female drug lord.

“I-neutralize muna naming ang drug queen na ito,” he said.

Following Aquino’s revelation, Lacson said the use of body cameras during anti-drug operations should become mandatory to prevent such incidents.

“When you join the operation at hindi nag-function ang body cam, dapat may automatic sanction, medyo puro alibi ang technical problem,” he said.

Aquino also said that high-profile drug convicts inside the national penitentiary are still involved in illegal drug trading.

“Mayroon kaming taped conversation with a drug lord inside the Bucor, by kilo sir, initially sir she is asking if how much is 10 kilos at sabi ng drug lord, he can give it at P1.3 million per kilo,” he said.

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has urged Aquino to present a detailed report and evidence to support his claims.

“Mahirap ‘yung puro lang tayo can door wala tayong leg to stand sa ganung accusation. Sana mayroon kang report para masabi natin sino yang pulis na nagre-recycle para I will call the attention of the chief PNP,” he said.

Meanwhile, PDEA also raised concern over the P22 billion worth of confiscated illegal drugs that are yet to be destroyed as these are still being used as court evidence.

Lacson said they will invite Supreme Court officials to the next hearing on Monday to discuss the matter.

“We will plead with the Supreme Court to put down judges who refuse to abide by the law that within 72 hours kailangan masira na ang mga drugs na na-confiscate,” he said. RRD (with details from Correspondent Grace Casin)

VP Robredo no significant contribution to PH anti-drug war – PDEA Chief

Marje Pelayo   •   December 12, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has contributed nothing significant to the country’s anti-drug campaign, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Aaron Aquino.

This, despite Robredo’s brief appointment as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

“She did not in any way supervise our people down there in the fields,” Aquino said.

“So I guess wala namang nabago o wala namang dapat glaring issues na makikita natin na talagang bumababa ang krimen o bumababa ang accomplishments natin sa drugs,” he added.

Aquino believes that Robredo could have understood the state and the scope of the illegal drug menace in the country if she had met with the different clusters of ICAD before she proceeded to establishing international connections such as with the US Embassy and the United Nations officials.

Aquino said, the Vice President only met with the enforcement cluster during her stay in ICAD.

“Should she met the four clusters, mas magiging malaki ang kaniyang scope of knowledge kung ano ang drug situation ng Pilipinas, Aquino noted.

“And maybe after meeting the four clusters, sana kung mayroon man siyang ma-i-implement na program or strategy to strengthen the ICAD, sana nagawa,” the PDEA Director General said.

Robredo’s camp, meanwhile, advised her critics to wait for the release of her recommendations and her own report on the status of the drug situation in the country.

“She’ll deliver (her) report soon. I suggest we just wait for that,” her spokesman. Atty. Barry Gutierrez said.

President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Robredo as the anti-drug czar for her ‘missteps’ in handling her position. The PDEA together with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is now working on the creation of an official database of drug pushers and user in the country which is expected to be released in 2020. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

PDEA chief Aquino urges Robredo to reveal findings on drug war

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino on Tuesday urged Vice President Leni Robredo to push through with her earlier pronouncement to reveal her findings about the government’s crackdown on narcotics during her brief stint as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

Aquino, who co-chaired ICAD with Robredo, believes the vice president’s revelations would help the government in improving the anti-drug campaign.

“I am personally encouraging VP Leni Robredo to make her revelations on what she claims as her ‘discoveries’ on the government’s drug war,” he said in a statement.

“I believe that whatever revelations she have would help us in improving and furthering the anti-illegal drug campaign,” he added.

Robredo on Monday said she would give a report about her discoveries on the drug war during her short tenure as ICAD co-chair.

She also vowed to remain determined to end the killings under the government’s war on drugs despite her termination as ICAD’s co-chairperson.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier fired Robredo from her post, which according to Malacañang was in response to the opposition’s dare to remove her from post due to lack of trust.

The Palace also said Robredo is free to do as she pleases with her findings on the drug war.

Trust: important element in appointing people in government – Ex-PNoy

Maris Federez   •   November 20, 2019

Former President Benigno Aquino III

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Benigno Aquino III questioned the Duterte administration’s motives in appointing Vice President Leni Robredo to be the country’s anti-drug czar.

Ex-PNoy said he could not comprehend why the vice president was given the big responsibility, such as that of a drug czar, when the administration apparently does not trust her.

He added that the administration shouldn’t have given such an important position to the vice president if there is no trust between her and the appointing power.

In a memorandum signed on October 31, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte designated Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) alongside Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino.

Initially, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the appointment was a Cabinet-level position that gives Robredo oversight function over drug enforcement agencies and offices until the end of her term on June 30, 2022.

In an interview on Monday (Nov. 18), however, the President stated that Robredo’s appointment is not a cabinet-level position. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.) /mbmf

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