PNP still validating reports on media men involved in illegal drugs

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019   •   686

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has at least 12,000 names on its list of high-value targets related to illegal drugs in the country.

According to PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino, aside from politicians, the list includes members of the media.

Apart from using drugs, these media personalities allegedly act as protectors of big-time drug lords.

Aquino, however, did not divulge the names and the exact number of those involved in illegal drugs among the members of the press.

But the Philippine National Police (PNP) cannot confirm this yet as they have not received any information on the matter.

“Sa ngayon, wala pa ring mga validated na mga report (There are no validated reports yet at present),” PNP Spokesperson PBGen.Bernard Banac said.  

“Ang lahat ay nanatili lamang na mga raw information. So, katuwang naman natin ang PDEA sa pag-validate ng mga information na iyan (So far, everything remains as raw information. PDEA helps us in validating such information),” he added.

The official said that authorities so far have arrested around 8,000 high-value targets on their drugs watchlist.

The National Press Club of the Philippines (NPCP), meanwhile, urged PDEA to reveal the names of alleged drug personalities among members of the press. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

P1.8 million worth of ecstasy pills seized in Pasay City

Robie de Guzman   •   September 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities intercepted another smuggled shipment of party drug ecstasy worth P1.8 million in Pasay City.

The shipment, which contains 980 pieces of ecstasy pills, were found in a parcel misdeclared as “samples” at the Central Mail Exchange Center.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) seized the shipment with the help of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

The package was shipped by a certain “U Janssen” from Netherlands and consigned to a certain “Joey S. Ramos Jr.” from Malate, Manila.

The BOC said the party drugs were found after the parcel was subjected to X-Ray scanning and 100% physical examination.

The examination yielded three vacuum sealed pouches containing different colors of pills – gray, turquoise, and orange pills – that were concealed inside a brown envelope.

Field tests conducted by authorities confirmed that the seized Tablets were indeed Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) or commonly known as ecstasy.

The BOC said the contraband was turned over to the PDEA on Thursday for profiling and case build-up against the importers and other personalities involved for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Lacson backs appointment of Villanueva as PDEA chief

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday lauded the appointment of Wilkins Villanueva as the new director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a statement, Lacson described Villanueva as a “good and professional officer who is fit for the job,” and noted his “long career in drug enforcement.”

“The President couldn’t have appointed a more qualified head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, having served our country for nearly 20 years with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA,” he said.

Lacson, a former national police chief, expressed confidence that Villanueva can handle his task of going after drug suspects amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

“With the challenge of going after drug personalities amid the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he indeed has his work cut out for him,” he said.

“I look forward to working with him, being the Senate Finance Subcommittee Chair and Sponsor of the PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) budgets, among others,” he added.

Villanueva will take over the post previously held by Aaron Aquino, who was assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to lead the Clark International Airport.

Prior to his designation to PDEA’s top post, Villanueva led the PDEA Northern Mindanao.

Wilkins Villanueva is new PDEA Director General

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2020

Wilkins Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Wilkins Villanueva as the new director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), replacing the agency’s outgoing chief Aaron Aquino.

Villanueva, who was assigned as PDEA Region 10 director prior to this appointment, served as the agency’s National Capital Region (NCR) chief.

He also served as head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intelligence and investigation service.

In his social post, Villanueva expressed his gratitude to the President for trusting him to lead the country’s war on drugs.

“I will never fail you, Mr. President!” he wrote.

He also thanked Senator Bong Go and former PNP Chief Senator Ronald dela Rosa for the encouragement and support. 

Meanwhile, there was no mention of the nature of Aquino’s departure from the agency.

Nonetheless, he thanked President Duterte for the opportunity to serve.

“I sincerely thank President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust and confidence and for giving me the opportunity to serve our people and his administration,” Aquino said.

Duterte appointed Aquino to PDEA in August 2017.

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