PDEA vows cooperation after NBI files charges over QC misencounter

Robie de Guzman   •   September 7, 2021   •   218

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday vowed to cooperate in the legal process in relation to the cases filed against its agents tagged in the February misencounter with some policemen in Quezon City.

In a statement, the PDEA said it will exhaust all legal remedies available in facing the criminal charges over the shootout between its agents and some Philippine National Police (PNP) operatives along Commonwealth Avenue last February 24.

PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva said he considers the process as an opportunity to answer all allegations against both law enforcement agencies.

“This also allows the legal process to ensue and ultimately determine the accountability of those involved and eventually obtain justice,” he added.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday filed criminal raps before the Department of Justice against 12 Quezon City Police personnel and four PDEA agents.

The charges include homicide, attempted homicide, robbery, direct assault, falsification of official documents, and conniving with or consenting to evasion.

On June 29, 2021, the PDEA filed separate charges against police officers who were involved in the incident.

Villanueva assured the public that the incident will not hinder government’s anti-drug campaign, adding that the PDEA and PNP maintains their strong partnership and collaboration in fighting criminality and illegal drugs.

Ombudsman junks CIDG petition vs Abayalde anew

Maris Federez   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has rejected anew the motion filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) seeking the reversal of the decision to acquit former PNP chief Police General Oscar Abayalde of graft charges filed against him.

In its resolution, the Ombudsman said the CIDG’s motion still lack sufficient evidence that will pin down Abayalde to the case.

The resolution added that the CIDG did not submit new arguments that will prove the involvement of the retired general in the case.

The CIDG filed graft charges against Abayalde for his alleged involvement in the anomalous drug operation of police authorities in Pampanga in 2013. —/mbmf

Lacson, Sotto test negative for illegal drugs

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson and running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday (November 22) underwent voluntary drug testing at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Diliman, Quezon City, and tested negative for drug use, a statement from the Partido Reporma said.

Earlier in the day, Sotto said: “Magkaalaman na kung sino matatapang”.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem said their move was to show that they are drug-free and fit to run in the 2022 national and local elections.

Sotto earlier said that ordinary drug tests only determine “shabu” or  “marijuana” use.

However, the PDEA test that they took, he said, is a ‘’multi-drug one-step immunometric assay for the detection of drugs of abuse in urine.’’

In the statement, Lacson said he and Sotto took a multi-drug screening procedure, which is capable of detecting all types of illegal substances in a human body. They both tested negative for illegal drugs.

The tandem went through all the protocols from the signing up of forms to the submission of their urine samples where an attending physician monitored them closely to ensure the authenticity of the tests.

Last Friday, Lacson suggested Friday conducting a random drug test to candidates following President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on an unnamed presidential candidate who was into cocaine.

“I have never been addicted to drugs all my life, so I have no problem with that. In fact, we should all undergo random testing to make it more credible,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an ambush interview in General Santos City, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go who is also running for president, reiterated that, although it is not mandatory, he is willing to undergo drug testing any time of the day.

“Ako naman po willing magpa-drug test anytime of the day. Anytime po kung kakailanganin,” Go said.

“Though hindi mandatory, pero just to prove lang po sa Pilipino kung sino yung fit na mamuno sa ating bansa ay willing po akong magpa-drug test, any time of the day po,” he added. —/mbmf

Eleazar orders nighttime patrols for holiday carolers

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday directed police personnel to begin nighttime patrols after the government approved the conduct of street caroling this holiday season.

In a statement, Eleazar said the patrols should be conducted to ensure the security and safety of carolers.

“Inatasan ko ang ating kapulisan na mag-umpisang magsagawa ng mga patrolya tuwing gabi para sa seguridad ng mga nangangaroling at para na rin siguraduhing sumusunod sila sa health protocols,” he said.

Eleazar also urged the public to continue observing health protocols and to not be complacent amid declining COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Kahit pa bumababa ang kaso ng COVID-19, hindi ito dahilan upang maging kampante at magpabaya sa pagsunod sa minimum public health standards,” he said.

The Department of Health earlier said that carolers must wear face mask and face shield as individuals expel more respiratory particles when singing, posing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

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