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Drive vs illegal drugs continues – PNP-DEG

June 12, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 133 views

STILL reeling from the October 2022 controversial anti-narcotics operation in Sta. Cruz, Manila which triggered an investigation from both Houses of Congress, agents of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group continue to work to help address the illegal drug scourge in the country.

From April 12 to last May 24 alone, the PNP-DEG now headed by Brigadier General Faro Antonio O. Olaguera have accounted for nearly P22 million worth of shabu and fully-grown marijuana plants and seedlings and arrested a total of 64 top drug personalities.

The arrests were made as a result of six buy-bust operations, two service of search warrants for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; two marijuana eradication drives and 54 service of warrants of arrest for violation of RA 9165.

PNP chief General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. earlier rejected suggestions to “abolish” the PNP-DEG amid the controversy triggered by the October 4 operation in Sta. Cruz, Manila, which led to the recovery of 990 kilograms of shabu worth nearly P6.7 billion and the findings that some of its men “pilfered” a huge part of the seized drugs.

“After making a study, me ibang aspeto na nakita. Isang problema, there are some drug cases filed by PNP-DEG agents in different regions. To dislocate them, to transfer them to the national headquarters will affect their cases,” the PNP chief said.

There is a PNP memorandum which states that ‘any personnel who, in the performance of duties become a prosecution witness, shall not be allowed to transfer to any other unit outside of the jurisdiction of the present unit during the pendency of the case.’

“Nakita na natin na ang problema is more on the personnel, not on the Office. That’s why we need a strict vetting, a continuous background investigation of PNP-DEG personnel to make sure na walang kumakaliwa o kumakanan. It’s more of a vetting rather than ire-recall ang mga officers nito,” the PNP chief said.

Brig. Gen. Olaguera told the Journal Group that his current job is “very challenging,” mainly when his men tell him about their many concerns about proposals to abolish PNP-DEG Special Operation Units (SOUs).

“Low morale ang mga tropa pero ang sabi ko sa kanila, as long as there is no order from the higher-ups, magtrabaho tayo. Dinagdagan ang suweldo natin kaya hindi dapat maging rason ang mga bali-balita para hindi tayo magtrabaho. Kung me order, we follow lawful orders pero until walang orders, magtrahabo tayo dahil pinapasuweldo tayo ng taumbayan,” he said.

“But my recommendation right now is to have a complete background check and lifestyle check on all police personnel who will enter the PNP-DEG. Gusto ko din mare-organize ang SOUs. Dapat paghalu-haluin ang mga personnel niyan after one or two successful operation, walang permanent teams dahil it breeds familiarity,” said the lawyer-member of PNPA ‘Tagapagbuklod’ Class of 1989.