The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Wednesday reiterated its warning to the public against unscrupulous individuals who introduce themselves as PDEA agents.
“The public should be warned about this. It is not new that certain person/s usurp the identities of PDEA [agents]to perform illegal activities,” PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña said, citing several incidents in the past.
Reports revealed that in the course of buy-busts, some of the suspected pushers who are arrested claim to be connected with the agency and even use the names of the agents during drug transactions.
In the aftermath of the voluntary surrender of thousands of self-confessed drug users and drug pushers nationwide, some people posing as PDEA operatives were seen roaming the neighborhood with the promise of removing “persons of interest” from the watch list of drug players in exchange for money.
“Some bogus agents even asked for protection money from drug pushers in exchange for their removal from the provincial list of drug personalities,” Lapeña said.
“Our enemies might think that we are protecting their people. We are not in the business of tagging names of drug personalities and let them go scot-free in exchange for money. The only way for them to get their names off our list is by landing behind bars,” he added.
Also, there are reports that spurious persons or groups claiming to represent PDEA are accepting processing fees as payments from applicants for the PDEA Drug Enforcement Officers’ Basic Course (DEOBC) Training, a six-month comprehensive and regimented course to become bona fide PDEA agents.
“PDEA agents have undergone rigorous training for months, imbibing the values and the mission of the agency to eradicate illegal drugs and serve the public. We will not tolerate unscrupulous people who masquerade as agents out to discredit PDEA,” the PDEA chief said.
He encouraged the public to remain vigilant and verify from the nearest PDEA Office those people who pose as PDEA agents.
The PDEA advises the public to immediately report any individuals introducing themselves as PDEA agents while committing a criminal act.
Complaints may be relayed by texting PDEA 24/7 Hotlines: 09998887332, 09255737332 and 09279150616 or call PDEA Hotlines: (02) 920-0735 and (02) 920-0736. JING VILLAMENTE