Ex-PDEA director general recommends a more effective anti-drug campaign

UNTV News   •   June 22, 2017   •   7287

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_062117_Dionisio Santiago

MANILA — Former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Dionisio Santiago considers  the first year of the Duterte Administration’s anti-drug campaign a success.

Despite this, Santiago believes what still needs to be improved is its implementation.

“We have to re-engineer this anti-drug campaign eh. The success of the Tokhang has limitations,” Santiago said.

According to the former PDEA official, to make the campaign more effective, there is a need to adjust its approach based on the root cause of the problem which is poverty.

“I consider the campaign successful because many are now afraid, and many are changing. But still, others still return. When you go back you’ll have no livelihood again, and you’ll have no income. So, you have to work on it,” Santiago said.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), meanwhile, insists the implementation of any anti-illegal drug campaign should adhere to the law.

CHR also clarifies it is never against the aim to eradicate the use of illegal drugs.

“We have to ensure that the continuation of the campaign does not result into any more deaths. If it does contribute to the eradication of drugs, then that is something that we need to sustain in terms of ensuring that RA 9165 is continued to be implemented,” CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jackie De Guia said. – Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

Politicians, gov’t officials mourn Gascon’s passing

Maris Federez   •   October 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to his brother Miguel via Facebook Saturday, October 9. He was 57.

Politicians and officials in the government and the military mourn Gascon’s passing, remembering his relentless fight in upholding people’s rights.

Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a statement, extended his and the department’s sympathies to Gascon’s family.

“We at the Department of National Defense extend our sincerest condolences to the family of CHR Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon,” Lorenzana said.

“The DND recognizes the great work done by the CHR under Chairman Gascon in the implementation of human rights laws. He will be missed,” the secretary added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, through its spokesperson, Col. Ramon Zagala, has also extended its sincerest condolences to Gascon’s family, friends, and colleagues.

Zagala remembered the late human rights champion’s “tireless work as a human rights champion and the watchful eyes of the CHR further pushed the AFP to advocate and abide by the principles of human rights and International Humanitarian Law.”

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who said she has been devastated by the news of Gascon’s death, laments that the country has “lost a human rights champion”.

“Chito understood the valuable link between human dignity and democracy. His activism stretched more than 30 years and I have personally witnessed him fight the good fight: defending human rights, fighting for democracy, and working for government reforms that promote accountability and the rule of law,” Hontiveros said.

Karapatan group also offered its condolences to Gascon’s family, recalling how the human rights advocate stood by them in their call for justice.

The group vowed to honor Gascon’s memory “by continuing to defend and uphold people’s rights and the struggle for just and lasting peace in the Philippines.” —/mbmf

PNP, PDEA nab 3 suspects, seize 80 kilos of shabu in Bataan ops

Robie de Guzman   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — At least 80 kilograms of shabu with a street value estimated at P544 million were seized and three foreign drug suspects were arrested during an operation in Bataan province, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.

The PNP identified the suspects as Qing Chang Zhou alias Ricky Chou, 37; Cai Cai Bin alias James/Joseph Chua, 49; and Longcai Chang, 45.

All of them are natives of Fujian, China, and are residents of Binondo, Manila, it added.

Aside from shabu, authorities also confiscated two vehicles, one android phone and one analog phone from the suspects.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the operation conducted in Hermosa, Bataan around 4 p.m. on Tuesday was part of the pursuit operation led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Candelaria, Zambales where some 500 kilograms of shabu were also confiscated.

“This was part of the pursuit operations that were immediately launched after the Zambales operation. There were some personalities who were monitored to be leaving in that area in Candelaria so our personnel and these people are among them,” the PNP chief said in a statement.

The Zambales operation resulted in the deaths of drug suspects identified as Gao Manzhu, 49; Hong Jianshe, 58; Eddie Tan, 60 who were all from Fujian, China; and, Xu Youha, 50, from Quezon City.

Xu alias Taba was reportedly the main contact of an international drugs syndicate. He was last monitored to have contacted a member of the international syndicate abroad and this resulted in the buy-bust in Zambales.

“They are known distributors of illegal drugs in Luzon, particularly in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Region 4,” Eleazar said.

The Zambales and Bataan operations resulted in the seizure of around 580 kilos of shabu with an estimated value of P3.944 billion, the biggest drug haul this year so far, he added.

Follow-up operations are still being conducted against all the other personalities with links to Xu, the PNP said.

PNP welcomes NBI findings on QC ‘misencounter’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it welcomes the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) regarding the so-called “misencounter” between the national police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The PNP assured that all its personnel involved are fully accounted for and would be made available should the Department of Justice require their participation in the conduct of its own review with regard to the findings submitted by the NBI.

On Monday (September 7), the NBI has recommended filing charges against 12 Quezon City policemen for their involvement in the “misencounter” during an illegal drugs operation last February 24 in Quezon City.

The national police, in a statement, also said that the incident has paved the way in clearing the gray areas in the coordination protocol and in outlining improvements and institutionalization of measures to prevent the repeat of the incident.

The Memorandum Circular, entitled Unified Coordination Guidelines in the Conduct of Anti-Illegal Drugs Operation was signed by the PNP chief and the PDEA Director General last July.

“The Philippine National Police commits to honoring and institutionalizing the PDEA-PNP Memorandum Circular as both law enforcement agencies aspire to put an end to the illegal drugs menace in the country,” the statement read. AAC

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