MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to join the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and other law enforcement agencies in anti-illegal drugs operations.
In Department Order No. 778 issued Wednesday, Aguirre granted NBI the authority to conduct investigation and case build-up for violation of Republic Act No. 9165 otherwise known as “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Acts of 2002”.
“The NBI through its Director, Atty. Dante Gierran is directed to submit a monthly report to the office undersigned on its current activities related to implementation of this order,” Aguirre said in his order.
This order revoked DO 670 dated October 13, 2017 which directed NBI to leave to PDEA all operations against illegal drugs.
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a memorandum ordering the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies to rejoin the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Aside from the PNP and NBI, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs, and Philippine Postal Corporation will also provide active support to PDEA which will remain as the lead agency in the anti-drug war.
The new order supersedes an earlier memorandum issued by Duterte on Oct. 10, 2017, directing “NBI, PNP or any and all anti-illegal drugs task force to yield to the PDEA as the sole agency in the conduct of operations of all those who are involved in, or connected to illegal drugs.”
The issuance of the October memorandum aims to pinpoint precise accountability following allegations from some sectors that summary killings of anti-illegal drugs suspects have been perpetrated by law enforcement agencies, including the PNP.
In ordering the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to rejoin anew in the war against illegal drugs, the President said that while PDEA has made significant strides in the government’s anti-illegal campaign, the agency “has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by lack of resources, specifically agents, and operatives who can penetrate drug-infested areas down to the municipal and barangay levels.”
The memorandum likewise said there had been a notable resurgence of illegal drugs in the Philippines as well as crimes committed since the PNP and the other law enforcement agencies yielded to PDEA the conduct of all anti-illegal drugs operations.
From the time it was given the sole responsibility in the conduct of anti-drug operations, PDEA conducted a total of 2,161 anti-drug operations from October 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017 that resulted in the arrest of 750 drug personalities and seizure of PHP104.10 million worth of illegal drugs.