PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Director for Operations, Major General Rhodel O. Sermonia on Friday cited the need for a revitalized interoperability among all law enforcement agencies partnering with the police force in the war on drugs as more drug sniffing dogs were deployed across the country to help detect smuggled drugs.
According to the official, it is a must for all agencies involved in the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign to revitalize interoperability capabilities and synergize all their programs to manifest conclusive and overwhelming success on war on drugs down to the grassroots level.
Speaking at the nationwide simultaneous deployment of narcotics detection dogs held at Manila Harbor Port Center Services in Tondo, Manila, the official said he is sure that the government’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs abuse and its trafficking will attain a conclusive success before President Duterte steps down from his office.
However, this could only be done if the primary agencies involved like the PNP specifically the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, the country’s lead anti-narcotics agency, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Philippine Coast Guard, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Port Authority would strive hard to strengthen collaborative partnerships between each agency and with various stakeholders.
Sermonia lauded the PNP-DEG headed by Brigadier Gen. Remus B. Medina for ushering proactive partnership with other agencies taking part in the whole-of-nation operations against illegal drugs, which he added is another breakthrough in law enforcement operations in enhancing the capacity of the PNP to deal with criminality.
“This initiative will be a big boost in our anti-illegal drugs campaign,” he said.
The official also expressed optimism that the deployment of narcotics detection dogs, which have undergone rigorous selection and training process, as a deterrent to transshipment of illegal drugs among ports and terminals in the country, will cater to a stronger partnership of all involved agencies and stakeholders. This effort is part of the PNP’s supply reduction initiative that is meant to suppress the movement of illegal drugs across the country as ordered by General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.
Sermonia said that while the deployment of narcotics detection dogs is a necessary ingredient to the PNP’s supply reduction program, he reiterated that the inter-agency partnership in the campaign against illegal drugs should equally focus on demand reduction, which is manifested by the clearing of every province, city, municipality, and barangay and all efforts should be leading to this objective.
According to him, partnership with various anti-illegal drugs councils should be revitalized and that the PNP should fully operationalize all existing Recovery and Wellness Program facilities, explore different means of collaboration for the delivery of after care services for illegal drugs personalities who surrendered and availed this life-changing program for the government to declare drug affected communities as drug cleared.
Medina for his part said the PNP-DEG has already established the illegal drug route or the shabu trafficking flows within the Philippine archipelago based on the data gathered from previous anti-drugs operations.
Medina added that the PNP-DEG has also established that illegal drugs were being transported through identified public bus terminals, airports, and seaports in the country and this prompted them to team-up with other Police Regional Offices, the PNP EOD / K9 Group, Maritime Group, PPA, and PCG as part of the PNP’s supply reduction strategy.
The official said a joint PNP-DEG and EOD K9 Group team were deployed to selected Major Seaports of the country.
“Initially, we will deploy one team to South Harbor Port Area in NCR, one team in Batangas Port in Batangas, one team in Port of Lucena in Lucena City and one team in ports of Donsol, Pio Duran and Matnog in Sorsogon,” he explained.
In a report to Gen. Eleazar, the PNP-DEG director said they will also deploy narcotics detection dogs teams to Victory Liner bus terminals in Dagupan City, Tuguegarao City, Mabalacat City Bus Complex, and Baguio City.
The team will be composed of two investigators from PNP-DEG, two canine handlers, and two narcotics detection dogs in every selected port. They are in charge of inspecting items of the baggage of passengers of RORO to prevent and deny the entry of illegal drugs to other parts of the country.