To Panay News: We wish to set the record straight regarding some claims by Mr. Roberto “Bert” Ladera in his March 4 column in Panay News – including that Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson is belittling the efforts of our law enforcers in battling the menace of illegal drugs, when he said that the anti-drug war has not succeeded.
Kailangang pagbutihin ng mga awtoridad ang mga polisiyang ginagamit sa operasyon laban sa ilegal na droga upang hindi na maulit ang madugong misencounter na nangyari sa pagitan ng mga operatiba ng Philippine National Police (PNP) at Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Ayon kay Senador at dating PNP Chief Panfilo Lacson, ang isa sa mga sistemang dapat na isagawa sa usapin ng ilegal na droga ay dapat na ang PDEA ang magsisilbing “overseer” sa operasyon kung saan nakatutok lamang ito sa intelihensiya habang ang pagsalakay o pagtimbog ay ipapaubaya na sa mga sinanay na tauhan ng PNP.
“We have to resolve the trust issue between the PNP and PDEA. But it would be better if the PDEA acted as overseer in anti-drug operations, and focus on intelligence-gathering, whether it is technical or human intelligence,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panayam sa kanya ng DZBB.
Ang nabanggit na sistema ay ginagamit na ng ibang bansang nagpapatupad ng seryosong kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga.
“In other countries, the output of intelligence work is shared with specially trained police units, with one or two PDEA operatives accompanying or ‘guiding’ the police force in the operation. That is the ideal situation where coordination is smooth and tight. The last thing we need is the reluctance of our agencies to work together because of what happened,” dagdag pa ni Lacson.
The government may need to adjust its policies to prevent a repeat of the deadly “misencounter” between Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives in Quezon City last Wednesday, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sunday.
Lacson said one such adjustment would involve the PDEA “overseeing” anti-drug operations and focusing on intelligence work, and leaving the assault operations to specially trained police personnel.
“We have to resolve the trust issue between the PNP and PDEA. But it would be better if the PDEA acted as overseer in anti-drug operations, and focus on intelligence-gathering, whether it is technical or human intelligence,” he said in an interview on DZBB radio.
“In other countries, the output of intelligence work is shared with specially trained police units, with one or two PDEA operatives accompanying or ‘guiding’ the police force in the operation. That is the ideal situation where coordination is smooth and tight. The last thing we need is the reluctance of our agencies to work together because of what happened,” he added.
Kung hindi pa isinasantabi ng administrasyong Duterte ang gyera sa ilegal na droga, bakit binawasan ang mga kahilingan o proposal ng DDB mula P520.4 milyon to P344.5 milyon; at ng PDEA mula proposal na P4.911 bilyon to P2.731 bilyon sa NEP?
Habang nag-issue ang Pangulo ng EO 66 noong 2018 para magkaroon ng multi-agency approach ang gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng PADS (Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy) kaya pinasumite ang 61 ahensya ng budget para suportahan itong strategy, apat lamang ang pinabibigyan ng pondo ng DBM ng P2.053 bilyon sa ilalim ng NEP.
Pati ang mga augmentation na ginawa ng Senado para sa kanilang 2020 budget ay isinama sa “FLR (For Later Release)” at hindi ni-release: P81.9 milyon sa DDB at P106.1 milyon sa PDEA, ayon sa DBM Circular 580. Dahil dito, nadiskaril ang kanilang mga nakalinya na at umiiral na mga PAPs tulad ng ICT training at pambili ng ICT equipment.
Tuloy dapat ang laban sa illegal drugs, may COVID man o wala. Kaya naiintindihan ko ang hinaing at pakiusap ng DDB at PDEA sa pagdinig kahapon tungkol sa 2021 budget nila kung pwedeng madagdagan ng Senado ang kanilang tinapyas na budget.
May kasabihan tayo: Tulak ng bibig, kabig ng dibdib. Iyan ba ang nangyayari ngayon sa laban sa ilegal na droga sa kabila ng libu-libong napatay na mula noong 2016 pa?
Director General-designate Wilkins Villanueva is such one good and professional officer who is fit for the job, having a 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.
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.
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.
Sen. Lacson sponsored the proposed PhP553.661-million budget of the Dangerous Drugs Board. The proposed 2020 budget of the DDB is lower than the 2019 budget due to, among other factors, the non-recurring funding for the nationwide survey on the extent of drug abuse in the Philippines.
Lacson also sponsored the PhP2.480-billion budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, higher than the current year’s budget.
Sen. Lacson chaired the resumption of the hearing on the 2020 budget of the PDEA and DDB, where the problem of recycling of seized illegal drugs was taken up. Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta and Court Administrator Midas Marquez attended the hearing, upon the Senate’s investigation.
Sen. Lacson cited the problem raised by the PDEA in the previous budget hearing. “Right now, what’s stocked in the warehouse of PDEA is P22B worth of different kinds of drugs. We don’t know because the problem exists as PDEA claims, they have to wait for a court order before they can finally destroy the drugs confiscated. We’d like to find out anong magandang gawin para di ma-recycle ang drugs on account of stocking.”
In an interview with media after the hearing, Sen. Lacson also cited other preventive measures such as joint operations, and closer coordination with the judiciary in destroying illegal drugs seized as evidence.