MANILA, Philippines — Based on the memorandum order signed by the president on October 10, all law enforcement agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Customs (BOC) and even the ad hoc task force will leave to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the conduct of all anti-illegal drugs operations in the country.
This means that only PDEA will handle the herculean task of executing the government’s anti-drug operations.
The PNP meanwhile, said it is ready to follow the orders of the chief executive.
PNP Spokesperson Police Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said that the police will now focus on the eradication of crimes and internal cleansing among their ranks.
Despite this, Carlos noted that they are still ready to provide assistance to PDEA when needed.
Meanwhile, PDEA admitted that the directive might have a negative implication on existing drug operations the agency is conducting with the PNP.
“Well because combined forces with the PNP on the conduct of illegal drugs would result in bigger accomplishments. The number of operations being conducted is twice as many, but of course, if we’re the only ones conducting it, it will decrease in terms of figures, the number of operations conducted,” said PDEA Gen. Aaron Aquino.
Aquino has said in an interview on the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, that PDEA lacks manpower and that they only have more than 1,000 agents.
He added that in a successful drug operation, 60% was the work of the PNP while the 40% was because of PDEA.
The PDEA chief also admitted that until now, the agency could still not stand alone on itself.
“So as of the moment DG, you still can’t perform your mandate that you should be the lead agency when it comes to the war on illegal drugs? You can’t take over it?” asked host, Daniel Razon.
“We admit we still can’t,” said Aquino.
“So you will just let the PNP now lead the young war against drugs. Is that it?” asked Razon.
“We will lead the war on illegal drugs but our support is needed by the PNP and all other law enforcement agencies. PDEA alone, we can’t to it,” said Aquino.
Although the task is difficult, PDEA assured that it will follow the directives of the president and promises to do all it can to fight against illegal drugs.
The agency is just hoping to receive additional fund allocation so they could hire more agents and new equipment in order for them to intensify their operations. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
Customs Chief Lapeña vows to stay amid ouster plots
Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on Tuesday (July 11) maintains that he will stay in office as long as President Rodrigo Duterte says so despite ouster plot from several Bureau of Customs (BOC) employees who, he claims, are opposing his policies in the agency.
“Nararamdaman ko iyon. In fact, may information nga ako na meron silang P20M na sinking fund daw to discredit me…I serve under the pleasure of the President, Kuya Daniel. Hangga’t andiyan iyong tiwala ng ating Presidente sa atin, gagawin natin lahat ng ating makakaya para mapagsilbihan ang mamamayang Pilipino,” Lapeña said during Tuesday’s episode of the program “Get It Straight with Daniel Razon.”
During the program, Lapeña also confessed that he was offered with “pasalubong” on his first day taking over as Customs Commissioner. That experience, he said, prompted him to impose the “No Pasalubong, No Tara System” policy within the agency.
In line with the administration’s anti-corruption campaign, the Customs Chief imposed the one-strike policy among Customs personnel, warning them against any involvement in corrupt practices such as smuggling.
Lapeña estimates around 850 customs personnel were already dismissed or transferred to different office under his administration due to illegal acts citing his authority as the Commissioner.
Commissioner Lapeña believes that the reshuffle of personnel hugely contributed to achieving the agency’s monthly target revenue collection.
“The one strike policy, kapag hindi na- hit ang target ng collector, I change him or her at kasama diyan iyong kaniyang staff in the assessment. So iyong kaniyang deputy collector, iyong mga tao niya sa assessment. Pinapalitan ko lahat iyan and it’s working,” he explained.
The record shows that the BOC’s revenue collection in July 2018 surpassed the agency’s monthly target. BOC reached a total collection of P50.139B this second week of July which is P2B pesos higher than the P47.80B pesos revenue in June.
This means that the agency’s campaign against corruption is effectively working.
“For the last 4 months nag- shoot up iyong revenue collection. It is an all-time high in the history of Bureau of Customs,” the Commissioner said. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo
PNP holds reenactment of Mayor Halili’s assassination
At exactly 8:10 a.m. on Monday, July 2, Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was shot dead in the early Monday flag ceremony at the Tanuan City Hall grounds.
The Special Investigation Task Group Halili conducted on Thursday, July 5 the reenactment of the assassination.
This aims to eliminate speculations and establish the position of the gunman.
In the reenactment, a mannequin wearing a suit was placed at the spot where Mayor Halili was standing along with other individuals during the incident.
After the reenactment, Region 4-A Director Edward Carranza confirmed that the position of the gunman was the sniper hole which they mentioned before.
The crime laboratory said that the killer had an estimated distance of 76.8 meters from the position of the mayor.
The suspect was also elevated 4.1 meters from the ground which enabled him to hit the mayor despite any movement in his place.
Carranza said that it is possible that the gunman is not a sniper who commonly aims for a head shot.
At a distance of 76.8 meters, he said that civilians who are highly-skilled in firearms can also execute a kill shot comparable to a marksman’s .
Currently, there are still three persons of interest who are under investigation.
Meanwhile, at around 9:30 pm in the morning, the crime laboratory has found a bullet in the sniper hole.
It will undergo a ballistic examination to cross-match with the 5.56mm bullet found in the body of the mayor in an autopsy.
Through this, it is possible to identify the owner of the firearm which was used in the killing of Halili. — Sherwin Culubong | UNTV News & Rescue
P6.8-M worth shabu seized in Las Piñas, QC buy-bust operations
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has confiscated over P6-million worth of suspected shabu from separate anti-drug operations in Las Piñas City and Quezon City.
First to be arrested were three suspects who were caught selling illegal drugs to PDEA operatives at a shopping mall’s parking area in Las Piñas on Sunday, July 1.
They were identified as Momina Kiaban Kusin, Laila Dali Kamsa, and Christine Bermejo.
Authorities recovered half a kilo of alleged shabu worth P3.4 million from the three women.
The agency said, the suspects have already smuggled shabu twice from their supplier, alias Ladj, in Talitay, Maguindanao.
The supplier is allegedly connected to a Maguindanao mayor. PDEA declined to identify the official while investigation is underway.
Meanwhile, in another mall in Congressional Avenue, Quezon City, PDEA recovered the second bulk of illegal drugs worth P3.4 million.
Authorities arrested siblings, Abdul Socri Daromimbang and Salman Daromimbang who also sold drugs to PDEA operatives.
Abdul Socri said he was just following orders and only agreed to deliver the drugs out of dire need.
“Napagutusan lang po… hirap ng buhay lang po, wala pong makuhang pagkakitaan (I was just told to deliver…Life is hard, I couldn’t find other means of livelihood),” Abdul Socri said.
He also insists that his brother is innocent and knows nothing about selling drugs; Salman only tagged along as he was out of work.
Abdul Socri added that his supplier is a business man from Quiapo, Manila.
PDEA believes that the arrested personalities in the two separate operations are connected to powerful crime syndicates. — Reynante Ponte
Arrested suspects in two separate buy-bust operations of PDEA in Las Piñas City and Quezon City