By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) director, Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil, Jr., following President Rodrigo Duterte issuing a memorandum shifting all drug operations from the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), halted all anti-drug operations as responsibilities transferred between agencies.
NOPPO spokesperson, Police Inspector Charmae De Paz, affirmed the provincial police force supports the president and the ongoing war on illegal drugs, and said NOPPO personnel will maintain police visibility in order to deter illegal drug activities and relay all information to the PDEA.
De Paz also appealed to the public and encouraged them to report any incident or suspicious individuals to the nearest police station.
Last Wednesday, Duterte issued a memorandum ordering the PDEA to be the sole agency to conduct anti-drug operations.
The president said law enforcement agencies, including the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), as well as all ad-hoc task forces, are required to allow the PDEA to conduct anti-illegal drug operations.
Bacolod City Councilor Caesar Distrito, meanwhile, said the president’s decision is bound to fail, claiming the move was only made to “allay the fears of the public.”
He also said the PDEA is “very limited” when it comes to manpower and without the budgetary capacity of the PNP./WDJ