Nope, nope Shanti Dope: PDEA seeks ban on airing ‘Amatz’ song

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 23, 2019   •   2002

UPDATE: Shanti Dope Management posted his statement on Facebook defending the lyrics of the song.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) seeks to ban the airing of Shanti Dope’s song ‘Amatz’ for allegedly promoting drug use.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the song may mislead the vulnerable youth and think that it is alright to use drugs.

“It appears that the singer was referring to the high effect of marijuana, being in its natural/organic state and not altered by any chemical compound,” he said.

“This runs contrary to Duterte’s administration crusade against illegal drugs,” Aquino added.

According to a statement, Aquino already submitted a letter to the “Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), and the ABS-CBN Corporation to prevent the airing of ‘Amatz’ and its promotion in the different media stations throughout the country.”

PDEA also recommends that similar songs should also be banned from airing.

“We respect and appreciate our artists in the music industry, however, we strongly oppose the promotion of musical pieces or songs that encourage the recreational use of drugs like marijuana and shabu. It is contrary to our fight against illegal drugs,” according to Aquino.

Meanwhile, the rapper belies PDEA’s accusation saying the agency singled out a few of the song’s lyrics and that it was taken out of context. He also calls on the PDEA director to listen to the whole song.

“We enjoin Director Aquino to listen to the whole song, and not just take a few lines out of context. The song begins with the persona talking about the ill effects, the violence, and dangers of drugs: “Kamatayan o parak / Na umaga o gabi, may kahabulan / Dami ng nasa ataol pa / Hangang katapusan laki ng kita sa kahuyan,” the statement reads.

“In fact,” the statement further adds, “it clearly shows the persona taking a stand against illegal drugs, while at the same time pointing out that what has made him “fly” (so to speak) is not drugs, but music.”

Shanti Dope and management also took offense on the questionable interpretation of the song. They said that it also poses threat against the artistic freedom in the country.

“This is a brazen use of power, and an affront to our right to think, write, create, and talk freely about the state of the nation,” according to the statement.

PDEA: 7 active ninja cops recycle illegal drugs; ‘drug queen’ in Manila holds govt position

Maris Federez   •   September 18, 2019

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has confirmed that the practice of recycling illegal drugs recovered from government operations is still prevalent.

The agency said seven ninja cops are involved in such practice.

In her exclusive report, UNTV Correspondent Lea Ylagan was able to obtain a list containing the names of the 13 original ninja cops with ranks ranging from patrolmen to police captains.

When President Rodrigo Duterte started his term in office and launched the extensive campaign against illegal drugs, said ninja cops were sent to Mindanao.

Two of them were ambushed by a riding-in-tandem in Cotabato which resulted in the death of one.

Others had gone AWOL, while some retired early.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, however, reported that, to this day, seven ninja cops who are still in active service are in the practice of recycling recovered or confiscated illegal drugs, with the help of an alleged Drug Queen who is said to be holding a position in Manila.

“(There) are protectors, somehow helping the drug queen distribute drugs. Sila rin ang nagbebenta ng ilegal na droga. Minsan naman may mga asset din sila na nagbebenta ng ilegal na droga,” Aquino said.

The official added that these ninja cops do not only operate in Metro Manila but also in the provinces.

“Definitely bawat region ay may ninja cops. Merong mga tiwali. Even parts of Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon,” he added.

Aquino further said that the ninja cops would reduce in half the shabu that they confiscate in their anti-illegal drug operations and would pass it on to the said Drug Queen who will take care of the dispatching and selling to their customers.

“She is very powerful with connections with the law enforcement agency, sa mga pulitiko and I think naging politician din sya once. di ko lang alam kung gano katagal, pero naging politician din siya,” Aquino said.

The NBI, AIDSOTF and PDEA had numerously tried to conduct an operation against the said Drug Queen but she may had been given a heads up by the ninja cops, making her elude the arrest.

“About 4-5 buildings ang iki-clear namin e so malaki ang area. That’s the reason why we ask for operational assistant sa PNP at NBI. But unfortunately, there was a leak.  In short, may ahas sa mga operatives naming. I don’t know kung sino, but it turned out to be a negative operation,” Aquino said.

A UNTV source said the original ninja cops come from the then-Western Police District (WPD), which is now called the Manila Police District (MPD).

They were called ninja cops because the vehicles they were using then in conducting drug operations were Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles, which had become their trademark of sort.

The source also said that aside from recycling illegal drugs, these ninja cops are also involved in “tutok-kalawit”, “Hulidap”, and “Bangketa” o the dropping of illegal drug-related cases.

These ninja cops were able to thrive for a long time because they were being coddled by a general and other high-ranking officials of the PNP in the past.

Aquino said his team is in the process of completing their report on the said Drug Queen and the seven ninja cops which they will submit to President Duterte within this week. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

Drug recycling still rampant in PH – PDEA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

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)

PDEA expresses dismay over possible release of convicted drug lords under GCTA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 6, 2019

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has no list of names yet of the almost 2,000 convicts freed through the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) computation of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino believed the list included names of convicted drug lords and expressed dismay for their release.

“Talagang dismayado ang PDEA at nalulungkot lahat ng law enforcement agencies dahil sa tagal tagal ng pagpaplano namin para mahuli itong mga druglords na ito, para maconvict ay napakahabang panahon,” Aquino lamented.

(Our men in PDEA are disappointed and other law enforcement agencies are saddened because with the long period of time spent in planning just to capture, and leading these drug lords to conviction was a lengthy process.)

“Kung gaano iyan kahaba ay ganon naman kaiksi kung paano sila nakalaya, (The longer it took us (to convict them), the shorter it took them to get released.)

President Rodrigo Duterte has given the convicts 15 days to surrender but Aquino doubts that these drug lords will yield to authorities following their release.

“Pwede din kaming mag aresto kung hindi sila susuko (We may arrest them if they refuse to surrender). That’s why we are asking also the list from the Bureau of Corrections,” he said.

However, he believes it would be a big challenge to them to bring the convicts back behind bars considering the tedious process of investigation, surveillance, entrapment, raid and operations they went through to arrest the said drug lords.

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