MANILA–The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) welcomed the newly-formed anti-drug groups of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the war against illegal drugs.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave the PNP the green light to resume anti-drug operations during the Joint PDEA-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Command Conference in Malacañang Palace last February 27.
“The PNP has created the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) as replacement to the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) and Drug Enforcement Units (DEU) at the regional down to municipal levels,” PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said in a statement.
The PNP-DEG shall conduct anti-drug operations focusing on national and international level drug trafficking, while the PNP-DEUs shall concentrate on illegal drug trafficking and street-level distribution across district, provincial, city and municipal boundaries.
“There is a reported resurgence of illegal drugs in the streets and drug personalities have gone back to their old ways since the absence of the PNP. It is good to have the PNP back as our brothers in arms in the drug war,” Lapeña added.
“Now that they are authorized to conduct ant-drug operations, the PNP-DEG and PNP-DEUs may request for the processing and issuance of Certificate of Coordination (CoC)-a pre-operational requirement, from the PDEA Plans and Operations Service-National Operations Center (POS-NOC),” he said.
Considering that the PDEA has limited workforce of 2,271 personnel, 1,274 of whom are Drug Enforcement Officers or DEOs, who serve as front liners of the anti-drug campaign, the Agency may join the PNP anti-drug operations as far as practicable only. Otherwise, proper coordination must be observed at all times.
However, the presence of PDEA is mandatory during the PNP’s conduct of high-impact operations and arrest of high-value targeted drug personalities
“With the AFP and PNP as our active partners in the revitalized anti-drug campaign, PDEA now has a full complement to wage an all-out war against the drug menace,” the PDEA chief said.