President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Exexutive Order (EO) 15 creating an inter-agency body to lead his administration’s war on illegal drugs.
EO 15, signed by the President on March 6, creates the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The ICAD is tasked with the “effective conduct of anti-illegal drug operations and arrest of high-value drug pesonalitie down to the street-level peddlers and users.”
It is also ordered to cleanse the bureaucracy of “unscrupulous personnel involved in illegal drug activities,” aside from implementing the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action 2015-2020 and the comprehensive implementation of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program.
The EO said all member agencies are ordered to designate a permanent representative, either an undersecretary or assistant secretary, to the ICAD.
The ICAD members are Dangerous Drugs Board, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of National Defense,
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, Public Attorney’s Office, Office of the Solicitor General, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Anti-Money Laundering Council.
Aside from these agencies, the ICAD is also empowered to tap concerned other public and private agencies, the local government units and the Office of the Ombudsman in investigating and prosecuting public officials with drug links.
The ICAD will function based on a cluster system.
Members are divided into four clusters.
The Enforcement Cluster spearheads the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations.
The Justice Cluster ensures the “expeditious prosecution of all drug cases.”
Its tasks include providing legal assistance to law enforcers and public attorneys for the protection of individuals rights, for example, in cases of voluntary surrender or warrantless arrests during anti-drug operations.
The Advocacy Cluster is supposed to conduct a nationwide advocacy campaign for the govenment’s anti-illegal drug policy.
The Rehabilitation and Reintegration Cluster is mandated to implement drug rehabilitation programs and make sure that former drug dependents and other drug personalities are reintegrated into society and become useful members of it.