THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has received the green light to create a permanent unit for operations against illegal drugs, a memorandum from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Wednesday.
In its letter to the PNP, the department said it does not see any legal hurdles for the police to create their own anti-drug unit.
The letter embodied the opinion of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who reviewed the proposal to form the PNP-Narcotics Investigation and Monitoring Center (NIMC).
The proposal was made four years ago.
The enactment of Republic Act (RA) 9165 paved the way for the creation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the government spearhead in the campaign against illegal drugs.
The Justice department said earlier that creating a permanent police anti-illegal drug unit could run counter to the RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002.
The letter, dated July 29, was handed to the PNP only last Tuesday.
“Upon closer review of law and jurisprudence, we find nothing in RA 9165 that prohibits the PNP from setting up a permanent Narcotics Investigation and Monitoring Center so long as it complies with the provisions of RA 9165 on the relationship of this PNP unit to the PDEA,” de Lima said.
She added that the PNP must meet certain conditions before forming its own anti-illegal drug body.
The unit must maintain close coordination with PDEA in all drug-related matters especially intelligence sharing and the PDEA will remain as the lead government arm in all anti-illegal drugs investigations.