PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva have agreed to draw up unified operational guidelines that will prevent possible ‘misencounters’ between members of the two law enforcement agencies as they continue their war on drugs, officials said Monday.
During a recent meeting between top PNP and PDEA officials led by Eleazar and Villanueva, the two agencies likewise resolved to strike hard on illegal drug syndicates that continue to operate in the country.
In a press conference, Gen. Eleazar said that he and PDEA’s Villanueva agreed to one thing: that there will be full coordination between their operating units and that one PNP unit must not operate in an area where the PDEA is conducting an anti-narcotics operation and vice-versa.
“Ang bottomline ng usapan namin eh wag lang magsabay sa isang operation. Hindi dapat mag-operate sa isang lugar at the same time ang PDEA and PNP, otherwise, mag-joint operation na lang kami,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Eleazar said he and Villanueva are talking since they want to show to their men that they are good friends and had no misunderstandings. Eleazar belongs to Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 while Villanueva is from PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988.
“Kami ni Wilkins ay matagal nang magkaibigan. In fact, direct underclassman ko siya and he is my foster brother sa PMA. Ipinapakita namin ngayon na kami ay naguusap kasi yun din ang gusto naming mangyari at gawin ng mga tao namin,” he said.
The PNP chief said that he and Villanueva committed to draw new guidelines that will prevent friction between the two agencies. The first was triggered by a ‘mis-encounter’ between PDEA and Quezon City Police District Special Operations Unit agents along Commonwealth Avenue in Q.C. which left two policemen, one PDEA agent and a PDEA informant dead.
The second was a ‘near misencounter’ between members of the PDEA Regional Office 4-A and members of the QCPD Station 4 near SM Fairview in Q.C. last Friday.
“With the commitment of the two agencies, hopefully hindi na mangyari uli ang mga ito. We agreed that the PNP Director for Operations and his counterpart will talk to merge our unified operational guidelines, not only in Q.C. not only in Manila but the rest of the country,” Gen. Eleazar said.
He said that since police need to coordinate their conduct of anti-narcotics operations with the PDEA, it should be noted that they already know the actual place where the PNP anti-narcotics officers will be conducting an operation and thus, should not conduct an operation in the same area at the same time.
Gen. Eleazar stressed the need for all government’s drug enforcement units to constantly analyze, discuss and update the strategies in the campaign against illegal drugs to identify the areas of improvement in the conduct of intelligence-gathering and operations.