Wilkins Villanueva is new PDEA Director General

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2020   •   328

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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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.

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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