by admin | Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino calls on voters not to vote for politicians involved in illegal drugs, saying their election budget most likely came from illegal drugs.
Aquino previously said 83 politicians are included on the narco list of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said the list of narco-politicians should first be validated before publishing it in time for the May 2019 midterm elections as proposed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Di ba si President na noon ang naglabas na rin noon So it goes without saying na kung si presidente mismo naglabas.” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. (The president already released a list before. So it goes without saying, if the president himself released it.)
The Philippine National Police clarified that they will not be releasing a narco list and reiterated that their task is only on the validation of the said list. They will leave the releasing of the narco list to the president and PDEA.
“Tayo ay sa pag-validate lang pero we do not maintain the list of narco-politician. What we have is yung list ng counter-intelligence watchlist namin involving our personnel at non-uniformed personnel.” PNP Chief PDG Oscar Albayalde said.
(We only validate, but we do not maintain the list of narco-politicians. What we have is the list of counter-intelligence watchlist involving our personnel and non-uniformed personnel.) — Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
The PNP chief said they were able to confiscate a total of 62 sacks of rice and 22 trays of eggs in different areas in Mindanao and Calabarzon Region.
“Wala sa kanilang umaamin kung saan nanggagaling, but we got election campaign material na doon sa specific candidates na iyon,” he said.
(No one would admit as to where the items came from but we got election campaign materials from that specific candidate.)
“But they deny na nanggaling doon sa mga kandidato na iyon at walang gustong magsabi whether the buyer or the seller kung sino or saan galing ang pera,” he added.
(But they deny that the items were from those [specific] candidates. No one, not the buyer nor the seller, wanted to admit where the items or cash came from.) – (with reports from Lea Ylagan) Marje Pelayo
by Maris Federez | Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has deferred its investigation into the 10 public prosecutors who were included in the so-called narco-list of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that while the department is bent on conducting a probe on these alleged narco fiscals, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had been reluctant in revealing the names of the prosecutors and in sharing information with the DOJ.
“It is regretful that PDEA announced it before validation because everyone in the prosecution service as well as judges in the judiciary became a suspect at this point when the names are being withheld,” Guevarra added.
Guevarra said PDEA’s decision to withhold the names of the prosecutors could place the whole National Prosecution Service (NPS) in bad light.
The DOJ chief said that he has already prepared a letter requesting the names of the 10 prosecutors.
He added, however, that PDEA DG Aaron Aquino has said that they cannot share the information yet pending the drug agency’s validation of their report.
This prompted Guevarra to hold the transmittal of the letter and to just await the results of their validation. – Maris Federez
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has reminded the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and public transport companies to conduct mandatory drug testing within the bounds of the law.
The CHR issued the statement in response to PDEA’s move to implement mandatory drug testing among public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers across the country.
“As employers, companies have every right to want to ensure a safe and effective workplace. However, should they push forward with mandatory drug testing, it should be mindful of the proper standards of confidentiality and be done within the bounds of the law,” CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline De Guia said in a statement on Tuesday.
Dubbed as “Oplan Harabas,” PDEA’s simultaneous surprise mandatory drug testing of all PUV drivers nationwide is aimed at ensuring the safety of passengers from substance-using drivers.
Last Sunday (March 31), 55 PUV drivers tested positive for illegal drug use out of 4,470 drivers who underwent a drug test held by PDEA at 54 public transportation terminals nationwide.
PDEA said the results are now undergoing confirmatory tests.
Under the Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013, drivers who were found to have been driving under the influence of dangerous drugs, alcohol and other similar substances will face license confiscation. They will also be banned from driving as they undergo drug rehabilitation.
Baliwag Transit has been subjecting its drivers and conductors to random drug testing three times a year. This is to ensure their passengers’ safety and that their drivers are drug-free.
If found positive for illegal drug use, drivers and conductors employed by the Baliwag Transit may face termination.
“Tinatanggal na po ng company ‘yung empleyado. Ganun po kahigpit ‘yung empleyado sa mga driver na involved sa drugs. Buhay po ng tao ang hawak po nila, buhay ng pasahero ang dala-dala nila. Kinakailangan na negative sila sa drug test,” Baliwag Transit Liason Officer Johnny Manfoste told UNTV News and Rescue.
(The company dismisses employees who test positive for drug use. The company is very strict when it comes to drivers involved in drugs. They are responsible for the life of the passengers they are ferrying so they have to test negative when undergoing a drug test)
While CHR respects the right of transport companies to ensure a safe and effective workplace, the agency reminded them to observe confidentiality and due process in conducting the mandatory drug testing.
“They must also ensure that any findings are punished commensurate to the offense, and that it observes due process of the law,” CHR added.
The agency also cited the case of Dela Cruz vs People of the Philippines in 2014 in which Supreme Court ruled that “mandatory drug testing is a violation of the right to privacy and the right against self-incrimination or testifying against oneself.” – Robie de Guzman (with details from Joan Nano)
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