The Philippine National Police is resuming anti-illegal drugs operations in support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), after a brief suspension since January as an offshoot of a tragic incident involving some anti-narcotics operatives.
“The war on drugs is on, and this time it is going to be more extensive, aggressive and well-coordinated, with built-in systems that guarantee full accountability and instill internal discipline among all personnel” said PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald “Bato” M Dela Rosa.
With the concurrence of the PNP Command Group and Quad-Staff, and after careful evaluation of the prevailing drug situation in the different regions since the suspension of all police anti-drug operations, the Chief PNP have approved the recommendation of the Director for Operations, Police Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, to reorganize the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) into the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG), a national operational support unit with the mission and function to be the lead unit in police anti-drug operations.
The PNP DEG will be headed by Acting Director, PSSupt Graciano Mijares while all other positions in the PNP DEG are vacant and on the process of a rigid screening and complete background investigation to select only the best and most qualified to man the new unit only with personnel of unsullied service reputation, unblemished record, and a character beyond suspicion as a minimum requirement.
The organization of the PNP DEG derives mandate from NAPOLCOM Resolution No. 2015-547 passed on October 30, 2015 creating the PNP AIDG, which remains in effect to this date sans the passage of a NAPOLCOM resolution for its official deactivation.
Subsequently, 18 Regional Drug Enforcement Units (RDEU) and five (5) District Drug Enforcement Units (DDEU) in the NCR police districts shall be created while Drug Enforcement Teams (DET) will be organized in the provincial, city and municipal police offices and stations.
The PNP DEG will have a built-in Counter-Intelligence Section embedded in its intelligence division to provide a fully-functional internal disciplinary mechanism against possible irregularities, lapses and abuses.
It shall have its own Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and K-9 Units for tactical support including provisions for creation of additional operating units and upgrading of personnel strength.
“According to our assessment of the drug situation as validated by PDEA’s own estimates, there has been a hike in drug activities during the period when we suspended our anti-drug operations, particularly against, street and middle level drug traffickers, and high-value targets.” PDG Dela Rosa said.
“Until today, we continue to receive reports of the resurgence of drug activities even in some areas that had been previously “cleared” It only goes to show that we cannot afford to lower our guard when confronting a vicious enemy. There must be continuity of effort if the desire is to completely eradicate the problem.” PDG Dela Rosa added.
The PNP leadership said that the organization must sustain the momentum of the initial success that have posted against the drug problem over the entire 2nd half of 2016 and strive to take more drugs off the streets.
“We cannot turn our back in this fight because the future of succeeding generations depends on how well we fight the war on drugs today” said PDG Dela Rosa.
According to the Chief PNP, aside from authorized PNP personnel and Barangay officials, all “Tokhang” operations should be well-coordinated with the local church to serve as a representative in behalf of the religious sector.