PNP still validating reports on media men involved in illegal drugs

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019   •   309

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)

VP Robredo no significant contribution to PH anti-drug war – PDEA Chief

Marje Pelayo   •   December 12, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has contributed nothing significant to the country’s anti-drug campaign, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Aaron Aquino.

This, despite Robredo’s brief appointment as co-chair of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD).

“She did not in any way supervise our people down there in the fields,” Aquino said.

“So I guess wala namang nabago o wala namang dapat glaring issues na makikita natin na talagang bumababa ang krimen o bumababa ang accomplishments natin sa drugs,” he added.

Aquino believes that Robredo could have understood the state and the scope of the illegal drug menace in the country if she had met with the different clusters of ICAD before she proceeded to establishing international connections such as with the US Embassy and the United Nations officials.

Aquino said, the Vice President only met with the enforcement cluster during her stay in ICAD.

“Should she met the four clusters, mas magiging malaki ang kaniyang scope of knowledge kung ano ang drug situation ng Pilipinas, Aquino noted.

“And maybe after meeting the four clusters, sana kung mayroon man siyang ma-i-implement na program or strategy to strengthen the ICAD, sana nagawa,” the PDEA Director General said.

Robredo’s camp, meanwhile, advised her critics to wait for the release of her recommendations and her own report on the status of the drug situation in the country.

“She’ll deliver (her) report soon. I suggest we just wait for that,” her spokesman. Atty. Barry Gutierrez said.

President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Robredo as the anti-drug czar for her ‘missteps’ in handling her position. The PDEA together with the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is now working on the creation of an official database of drug pushers and user in the country which is expected to be released in 2020. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Law enforcers seek revival of death penalty after P2-B drug bust in Makati, Las Piñas

Marje Pelayo   •   November 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities have had enough of the illegal drug menace in the Philippines.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies are again pushing for the revival of death penalty as drug syndicates seem to have grown even fearless of the country’s law against illegal drugs.

The PNP Drug Enforcement Group recently seized P2-billion worth or 371 packets 1 shabu in Makati City.

Another drug buy bust operation in Las Piñas City yielded at least 17 kilograms of suspected shabu.

PDEG Commander Romeo Caramat Jr. said the Chinese national arrested in Makati on Wednesday (November 27) identified as Liu Shao allegedly served as warehouse-keeper of drug syndicates in the Philippines while those two suspects arrested in Las Piñas were his courier, in addition to two others arrested on November 6.

“If you will ask me kung nasaktan ang drug syndicate sa pagkakahuli kay Liu Shao, definitely kasi it will take time para makahanap muli ng isang trusted man na bodegero, (If you will ask me if drug syndicates were impacted by the arrest of Liu Shao, well definitely, because it will take them time to look for another trusted keeper of their warehouses),” Caramat said.

Because drug syndicates appear to be unfazed, the PNP together with the Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) calls on lawmakers to expedite the reinstatement of drug penalty.

DDB Chairperson Secretary Catalino Cuy said he favors the imposition of death penalty for drug trafficking while PDEA Deputy Director Gen. Gregorio Pimentel noted that drug personalities do not stop even after they leave detention. So, for their operations to end, death penalty is needed.

“Everybody ends up in New Bilibid Prisons. Doon nai-enhance pa nila ang organized network nila to traffic illegal drugs (Inside (NBP), they are enhancing their organized network to traffic illegal drugs,)” Pimentel said.

“So we give them a chance to reunite and reconnect with other drug personalities and if they get out that will be a bigger problem so I am in favor for the death penalty,” he added.

PNP OIC Police Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, meanwhile, argued that drug suspects themselves confess that the reason why they do business in the Philippines is because of the absence of death penalty.

“Coming from the accused and the suspects themselves, based on interrogation, why are you doing this here in the Philippines? Because there’s no death penalty. That’s the simple (reason),” Gamboa noted.

Gamboa confirmed that the illegal drugs seized yesterday was sourced from outside the country.

Through the re-calibrated anti-illegal drugs campaign of the government, Gamboa said they expect to reduce illegal drugs supply in the country and eventually arrest high value targets the soonest.

“(As I always say), let’s go for the high value target. Let’s go for the bigger catches,” Gamboa concluded. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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PDEA chief Aquino urges Robredo to reveal findings on drug war

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino on Tuesday urged Vice President Leni Robredo to push through with her earlier pronouncement to reveal her findings about the government’s crackdown on narcotics during her brief stint as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

Aquino, who co-chaired ICAD with Robredo, believes the vice president’s revelations would help the government in improving the anti-drug campaign.

“I am personally encouraging VP Leni Robredo to make her revelations on what she claims as her ‘discoveries’ on the government’s drug war,” he said in a statement.

“I believe that whatever revelations she have would help us in improving and furthering the anti-illegal drug campaign,” he added.

Robredo on Monday said she would give a report about her discoveries on the drug war during her short tenure as ICAD co-chair.

She also vowed to remain determined to end the killings under the government’s war on drugs despite her termination as ICAD’s co-chairperson.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier fired Robredo from her post, which according to Malacañang was in response to the opposition’s dare to remove her from post due to lack of trust.

The Palace also said Robredo is free to do as she pleases with her findings on the drug war.

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