Mayor Isko orders police, PDEA to clear Baseco of illegal drugs in one week

Robie de Guzman   •   August 1, 2019   •   950

Baseco Compound

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.

Isko Moreno shuts down Divisoria sidewalk stalls due to massive littering

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

Photo courtesy of Manila PIO

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has shut down Divisoria sidewalk stalls due to the amount of garbage found in the area during a surprise inspection on Monday (November 11).

Vendors will no longer be allowed to set up stalls along Ylaya Street in Divisoria.

Moreno also expressed his dismay over the negligence of the vendors in managing their waste.

“Hindi ba kayo nahihiya diyan o talagang baboy din kayo sa bahay? Kailangan ko pa kayo sorpresahin? Pinaghahanapbuhay ko na nga kayo, (Are you not ashamed or are you just as filthy in your own home? Do I still need to surprise you? I already allowed you to set up your livelihood here)” he said.

“Kung ganiyan lang din naman ang iiwan sa atin araw-araw, tigil na silang lahat, (If they will leave [these garbage] everyday, all [the vendors] should just stop)” he added.

The Manila mayor also directed all police stations in the area to monitor the streets of Divisoria to make sure no vendors will return especially in Ylaya street.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

NCRPO chief prepared to let VP Leni join drug busts

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2019

An agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-National Capital Region (PDEA-NCR) searches the pockets of suspected illegal drugs pusher ‘Bong’ during a raid on a house in Barangay Ugong, Valenzuela City, northeast of Manila, Philippines 02 February 2018. Agents of the PDEA conducted the raid in search of an alleged pusher named ‘Bong’. The operation resulted in the arrest of the suspect and discovery of hidden packs of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, after a search in two houses in the area. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief PBGen. Debold Sinas said he is prepared to let Vice President Leni Robredo join drug busts.

“Bakit hindi? Kapag available siya (Why not, if she is available) we will. But of course, she’s the vice president. Importante ang security niya (her security is important),” he said.

Sinas also said they are willing to abide by the instructions of Robredo as the co-chairman of the Inter-agency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

During the ICAD meeting on Friday (November 8) Robredo said drug operations should be done in a manner that doesn’t result in senseless killings.

“Iyong sa akin kapag nagkakaroon kasi ng mga senseless killings nadi-diminish iyong mga pagod na binubuhos natin dito (For me when there are senseless killings, it diminishes the work we put in this campaign),” she said.

Sinas also does not want killings however, they cannot guarantee there will be zero casualties in the campaign against illegal drugs.

“Ayaw din namin ng patayan. Kapag kami rin ay tinutukan, una (We also do not want killings. But if a gun is pointed at us, first) we have to defend ourselves also,” Sinas said.

Sinas assures all operations against illegal drugs will still be respectful of human rights and will not violate any laws.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

ICAD’s Aquino expresses support for Co-Chair Robredo, admits feeling ‘awkward’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino (R) and Vice President Leni Robredo (L)

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) have signified their support for the agency’s co-chairperson Vice President Leni Robredo.

Dangerous Drugs Board Chair Catalino Cuy said they expect that Robredo will contribute improvements to the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and is confident that the system will be free of any political motives.

“ The war on drugs is black and white. It has no political color. The success of anyone is our success,” Cuy said.

“Iyan ang target natin kaya nga ‘whole of nation’ approach dito. We welcome lahat ng sector, how much more the VP? The more na kailangan din natin ng kanyang view,” he added.

(TRANSLATION: That is our target, that’s why it is a “whole of nation” approach. We welcome all sectors, how much more the VP? We need her views all the more.)

Aside from DDB, other agencies who expressed support for Robredo were the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Ang partisipasyon ng Vice President ay napakalaking bagay. Dala niya ang kanyang opisina (The Vice President’s participation is a big contribution. She carries with her the) office of the vice president,” said PNP Spokesman PBGen. Bernard Banac.

“Siya mismo ay magiging isa sa mga inspirasyon natin at ang ating kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga ay magiging matagumpay (She herself will be among our inspirations and our campaign against illegal drugs will be a success),” he added.

ICAD is comprised of four clusters – the enforcement cluster, the justice cluster, advocacy cluster, and the rehabilitation and reintegration cluster.

Cuy said they cannot identify exactly what the role of the Vice President will be as the drug czar since they are still waiting for a schedule to meet with her.

But the official said, whichever of the four clusters Robredo wishes to focus on, she definitely has their support.

“The DDB will be willing to give the full assistance and support to the Vice President,” Cuy said.

“We are willing to give briefing for her of the anti-drug strategy being implemented,” he added.

Meanwhile, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino expressed his full support for Robredo though he admits that it would feel different working with the Vice President.

 “The help of Vice President Robredo is very much appreciated especially in terms of harm and demand reduction efforts. We are ready to assist the Vice President in her new task. After all, the objective is the same — to eliminate the drug problem in our country.” he said.

“While this is a welcome development for the illegal drug campaign, personally I cannot help but feel somehow awkward to have the second-highest elected official of the country as my co-chairman,” he added.

For now, the DDB and PDEA are waiting for a call from Robredo to be able to start the discussion on her roles inside the agency. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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