THE regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Calabarzon was relieved from office after intelligence reports linked him to numerous unlawful arrests and extortion activities.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino ordered Calabarzon Regional Director Archie Grande, relieved together with 61 personnel from the same office
Calabarzon region is composed of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
Reports said they were involved in issuing PDEA regionalized identification cards (IDs) to confidential assets and information illegally.
“They were discharged from their duties after intelligence reports linking them to a series of unlawful arrests and extortion activities in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite,” Aquino said in a statement.
Aquino said that PDEA does not issue IDs to non-organic personnel like assets and confidential informants. The ID is strictly for those performing intelligence work against a specific high-value target drug personality.
Two weeks ago, Jhay-R Repana, suspect in a shooting incident in Parañaque City, was arrested after he falsely claimed that he is a PDEA agent.
Authorities seized a sachet of shabu, drug paraphernalia and a firearm inside Repana’s vehicle.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald de la Rosa said in a press briefing that he supports Aquino’s action.
“If the PNP has an internal cleansing program, PDEA should also have one. I support Aquino’s action,” he said.
The PNP and PDEA are the two agencies leading the administration’s war against illegal drugs.
New drug group
As this developed, Negros Occidental Police Office (NOCCPO) on Monday said a new drug group is now operating in the province after about 30 of its members were arrested and 11 surrendered through Oplan Tokhang and one remains at large.
Supt. Glenn Provido, NOCCPO deputy provincial director for operations, said the new drug group is operating in the southern Negros area.
He admitted that the province is a transhipment point of illegal drugs as “there are many drug users in the island.”
“The supply in the province comes from Metro Manila, some parts of the Visayas and also Mindanao. The prices of the illegal drugs depend on where it is sourced,” Provido added.
He said about 1,189 drug suspects in the province have surrendered since December last year bringing the number of surrenderers to 11,000 since July 2016
NOCCPO records show some 693 suspects are in the watchlist and 1,110 have been rehabilitated while a total of 3.33 kilos of shabu were seized in the operations.
WITH A REPORT FROM EUGENE Y. ADIONG