PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday barred the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from all anti-drug operations and ordered a purge, saying he had lost trust in the two law enforcement agencies.
“As of now, there are no policemen in the entire country [enforcing drug laws], and I want to add even the NBI.
The bureau is suspended from enforcing drug laws. Kasali kayo kasi nawalan na ako ng tiwala sa inyo [You are included because I have lost my trust in you],” he said in remarks during the 38th National Convention of the Philippine Association of Water Districts in Davao City on Thursday.
“Many are still okay but the problem is, it’s a virulent thing. It’s like a virus that has really affected all the law enforcement,” the President added.
On Monday, Duterte announced that the PNP was no longer allowed to lead his campaign against illegal drugs.
He ordered a cleanup of the PNP following the killing of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo at the hands of rogue police right inside the Camp Crame, the PNP headquarters in Quezon City. NBI agents have also been implicated in Jee’s killing.
NBI Director Dante Gierran on Thursday relieved four of his men amid a joint investigation with the PNP on the Jee case.
Ricardo Diaz. Roel Bolivar and Jose Yap were removed from their positions as Metro Manila director, chief of the anti-illegal drug task force and deputy director for investigation, respectively. Investigation Agent Darwin Lising was reassigned to the Bicol region.
Sixto Burgos is the new deputy director for investigation and Vicente de Guzman Jr. the deputy director for intelligence.
Replacing Bolivar is Jonathan Galicia who will go to the clearance division.
Earlier this week, the NBI presented “volunteer” Jerry Omlang, 36, who allegedly conducted surveillance on Jee.
Omlang was identified as “Jerry” in the charge sheet filed before an Angeles City court where the main accused are Supt. Raphael Dumlao and Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Santa Isabel, a subordinate of the former.
PDEA to take lead
Duterte said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), with the coordination of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), would lead government efforts to combat illegal drugs.
Duterte said he may issue either a proclamation or an executive order, allowing only the PDEA, with the help of the AFP, to address the drug menace in the country.
“I still have to write a proclamation, executive order, but I have taken in the AFP and [will]raise the issue of drugs as a national security threat. So that they can call all the Armed Forces to assist,” he said.
The PDEA was formed as the lead agency in the enforcement of the anti-drug law. Under Section 86 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the PNP’s Narcotics Group, the NBI’s Narcotics Division, and the Bureau of Customs’ Narcotics Interdiction Unit were abolished.
On June 18, 2003, Malacañang issued Executive Order 218, authorizing the PNP and other agencies performing drug law enforcement and prevention functions – prior to the enactment of RA 9165 – to organize anti-drug task forces to support the PDEA.