Mayor Isko orders police, PDEA to clear Baseco of illegal drugs in one week
Robie de Guzman • August 1, 2019 • 844
MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Thursday gave police and anti-drug agencies one week to clear the Baseco Compound of illegal drugs and loose firearms.
Domagoso gave the directive to the Manila Police District (MPD) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during a meeting with the city’s Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
“May masamang impresyon sa Baseco, bakit hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin cleared. I’ve been hearing a lot of individuals carrying firearms, I want to know if these firearms are licensed, legitimately acquired,” he said.
Data from PDEA showed that 807 out of 896 barangays in the Philippine capital are still affected by illegal drug operations.
While MPD records reveal that there are still about more than 2,000 drug pushers in the streets of Manila.
Mayor Isko vowed that the city’s anti-drug campaign would continue even after the Baseco area is successfully cleared of illegal drugs.
“After one week of conducting operation, it doesn’t mean on the 8th day, 9th day, we will stop. It will be a continuing operation until ang lugar na ‘yan ay mawalan ng ipinagbabawal na gamot,” he said.
“If we can do it in Baseco, we can do it anywhere in the City of Manila, to clear barangays of illegal drugs,” he said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Martin Dino, for his part, said that barangay officials who will fail to participate in the city’s campaign will face sanctions.
“Kapag bumalik ang mga na-clear ng city mayor, ng kapulisan, pasensyahan tayo… Ipasisibak ko kayo sa pwesto,” Dino said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon expressed disappointment after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino admitted that ‘recycling’ of illegal drugs is still rampant.
According to Drilon, the said admission is a “sign” that the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs is not working.
“Given that admission, I am not very optimistic about the success of the anti-drug campaign, in general,” he said.
Drilon also expressed dismay that the very people who enforce the law are the ones violating it.
“This is worrisome. This is a decades-old case of bantay-salakay, wherein the people who are given the task of enforcing the law insofar as drug trafficking is concerned are the ones who lead the anomalous practices,” Drilon said.
In order to prevent the “horrible” practices, according to Drilon, he will request the Office of the Court Administrator to strictly enforce the law on the burning of drugs confiscated.
The senator will also propose to reopen the PDEA unit in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, after its old unit was closed.—AAC
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)
MANILA, Philippines – Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has warned malls and commercial establishments across the city not to sell stolen cellular phones.
This, after about 148 units of alleged stolen phones were confiscated by the Manila Police District – Special Mayor’s Reaction Team at two known malls in the city.
The Mayor presented before the media on Monday (September 16) five suspects who were arrested in the act of buying and selling alleged second hand but stolen cellphones.
Domagoso said such an act is a violation of Presidential Decree No. 1612 or the Anti-Fencing Law.
“Tigilan ninyo na ang pagtitinda ng mga nakaw na bagay (Stop selling stolen items),” he warned.
“Huwag ninyong sasabihin sa amin na hindi ninyo alam (Don’t tell us that you are not aware of it),” he added.
The official has given the management of Tutuban Center Mall and Isetann Recto Mall three days to check on stall owners and seek legal permits for the used items they are selling.
Otherwise, they will be asked to close down, Domagoso warned.
Earlier, the management of Tutuban Center Mall immediately heeded to Domagoso’s order.
He also calls on consumers to stop patronizing stolen items.
He said theft is one of the common problems among minors, such as the case of a teen who was nabbed for snatching cellphones and is now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Manila office.
“Ayaw kong may iiyak na namang nanay, may iiyak na namang tatay, dahil nasaksak ‘yung anak niya, namatay ‘yung anak niya dahil inagawan ng cellphone (I don’t want to hear another mother or father grieving for their child who died because someone snatched their cellphone),” the Mayor noted.
The Manila Police has launched a manhunt for alias “Bebeng” who is said to be the receiver or seller of the snatched mobile phones.
Meanwhile, Domagoso has ordered the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Office to inspect all malls across Manila to determine and report those who sell snatched mobile phones. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)
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