Trust: important element in appointing people in government – Ex-PNoy

Maris Federez   •   November 20, 2019   •   370

Former President Benigno Aquino III

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Benigno Aquino III questioned the Duterte administration’s motives in appointing Vice President Leni Robredo to be the country’s anti-drug czar.

Ex-PNoy said he could not comprehend why the vice president was given the big responsibility, such as that of a drug czar, when the administration apparently does not trust her.

He added that the administration shouldn’t have given such an important position to the vice president if there is no trust between her and the appointing power.

In a memorandum signed on October 31, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte designated Robredo as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) alongside Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino.

Initially, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the appointment was a Cabinet-level position that gives Robredo oversight function over drug enforcement agencies and offices until the end of her term on June 30, 2022.

In an interview on Monday (Nov. 18), however, the President stated that Robredo’s appointment is not a cabinet-level position. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.) /mbmf

PDEA seizes P6.8-M worth of shabu in Tagaytay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 21, 2020

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) seized P6.8 million worth of suspected shabu in Tagaytay City on Thursday (February 20).

Authorities seized around one kilo of shabu from male suspect, Suwaib Minalang.

PDEA said the suspect’s mode of operation is to deliver the illegal drugs to the houses of their customers.

“Sa tingin namin marami pang sinusuplayang area ito, kung saan magkasundo dadalhin nila iyan (we think they are supplying more areas where they will agree to deliver [the drugs]),” according to PDEA Region 4A Acting Director IAV Melvin Estoque.

Estoque also said the suspects had been previously arrested in 2018 for selling illegal drugs in Laguna but was released due to the plea bargaining agreement.

PDEA will conduct profiling to determine which batch and country of origin the seized illegal drugs came from.—AAC (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

Two suspects nabbed for selling injectable shabu online

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 20, 2020

Two men were arrested by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) after they were caught selling illegal drugs in Mandaluyong City on Thursday (February 20).

A member of PDEA posed as a buyer and, after confirming the illegal activity, authorities arrested Mark Kenneth San Juan and Jeffrey Saclao.

Authorities seized 26 syringes of suspected liquid shabu with an estimate of P52,000. They also seized one sachet of suspected shabu worth around P13,600.

According to PDEA Spokesperson Derrick Carreon, the suspects are also selling drugs online based on their social media accounts.

Carreon also said the suspects target the youth using social media. He also warned about the negative effects of using drugs.

“So, maaari po talagang mangyari sa inyo ang mga hindi kanais-nais na mga bagay apart from the fact na it leads to (Bad things can happen to you apart from the fact that it leads to) the spread of several infectious diseases,” he said.

PDEA has taken custody of the two suspects and will face charges for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. —AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Prosperity Ball raises funds to help Taal evacuees, female drug surrenderers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

A group of local entrepreneurs held the 2020 Prosperity Ball to help raise funds for Taal eruption evacuees and female drug surrenderers.

The said event held at Okada Manila on Friday (January 24) was attended by famous personalities, entrepreneurs, and private individuals.

Event organizer Dr. Rhoda Espino said Taal evacuees are in need of medical attention.

She said they will coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to monitor the situation in every evacuation center.

“We will be studying what they need. I think right now they are suffering from diarrhea and skin problems,” she said.

Another beneficiary of the event are the female drug surrenderers temporarily residing at Balay Silangan, the community-based reformation program of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA).

PDEA Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino, one of the guests in the said event, raised the issue of the lack of livelihood programs for female drug surrenderers. He also called on LGUs to provide jobs to female surrenderers who graduated in PDEA’s Balay Silangan program.

“It’s important na pagka-graduate ng drug surenderer, especially ng mga kababaihan, dapat may trabaho sila (when they graduate they should immediately have jobs, especially the women). Dapat may pagkakakitaan sila (They should have a livelihood). Otherwise if they do not earn anything they will go back to their old ways. Babalik at babalik sa dati nilang bisyo, (They would keep returning to their old vices),” he said.

Espino also said they will continue to raise funds for PDEA’s Balay Silangan program.

“We want to create livelihood programs especially for the female surrenderers so they would have a better life and they won’t go back to the drug trade,” Espino said.

The event sold designer clothes, wines, and travel tickets, the proceeds of which will go to the Taal victims and the purchase of sewing machines for the female drug surrenderers under the Balay Silangan program.

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