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

Marje Pelayo   •   September 6, 2019   •   618

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.

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)

P3.4-M worth of shabu seized in Zamboanga City buy-bust

UNTV News   •   November 4, 2019

Ten (10) sachets of suspected shabu and buy-bust money seized from the suspects

Joint operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), police and military seized P3.4 million worth of shabu and arrested two suspects in a buy-bust operation in Zamboanga City on Sunday (November 3).

Authorities identified the suspects as Alner Andao and Almigar Jimla of Barangay Ayala.

Seized from them were 10 sachets of suspected shabu weighing half a kilo; three cellphones; buy-bust money and the vehicle used in the transaction.

The PDEA said an informant alerted them of the suspects’ illegal activities which prompted the agency to immediately plan and execute said operation.

“Mayroon tayong confidential informant nagsumbong sa atin na mayroong pwedeng magbenta ng half kilo ng shabu. So dahil trabaho natin ito, eventually nag-assign tayo ng agent as undercover,” said PDEA agent, Jury Rocamora.

Andao and Jimla will be facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. — CAL (With reports from Dante Amento)


BuCor restores visitation privileges for Bilibid inmates

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 30, 2019

Members of the Police Special Action Force frisk inmates following a peace accord event to stop violence amongst gangs inside the New ‘Bilibid’ Prison’s maximum security compound in Muntinlupa city, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 December 2018. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has restored visitation privileges at New Bilibid Prison on Wednesday (October 30), almost a month after it was suspended.

BuCor already posted the schedule for each quadrant. They also said there will be no visitation allowed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“Visitors will be subjected to the usual body frisking, strip searching if necessary and inspection of all bags and belongings prior to entry to any corrections facilities,” according to BuCor.

Visitation privileges were temporarily suspended on October 9 due to ‘safety reasons’ when BuCor demolished the kubol or shanties illegally built inside the Bilibid.—AAC

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