MANILA, October 11, 2017 — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has directed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to be the lead agency in the government’s campaign against drugs.
The President’s order, given on October 10, 2017, was contained in a Memorandum addressed to all concerned government agencies with the subject “Implementation of Republic Act 9165 Otherwise Known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.”
“(I)n order to bring order to the operation/campaign against illegal drugs, thus pinpointing precise accountability, I hereby direct the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), PNP (Philippine National Police), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Office and all other agencies or any and all ad hoc anti-drug task force, to leave to the PDEA, as sole agency, the conduct of all campaigns and operations against all those who, directly or indirectly, and in whatever manner or capacity, are involved in or connected with, illegal drugs,” President Duterte said in the Memorandum.
“All information/data received by the NBI, PNP, AFP, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Office and all other agencies or any and all ad hoc anti-drug task forces shall forthwith be relayed, delivered or brought to the attention of the PDEA for its appropriate action,” he added.
The Memorandum likewise urged the PNP to maintain police visibility at all times as a deterrent to illegal drug activities.
The PDEA, created by virtue of Republic Act No. 9165, is mandated by law to undertake the enforcement of the provisions of this Act relative to the unlawful acts and penalties involving dangerous drugs and substances.
The agency is also authorized to arrest and apprehend all violators as well as search and confiscate the effects or proceeds of the crimes.
Further, it is empowered to monitor and inspect all air cargo packages, parcels, and mails in the central post office in coordination with the Bureau of Customs and Philippine Postal Office.
“(W)hile it (R.A. No. 9165) shall not mean to be a diminution of the investigative powers of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on all crimes as provided for in their respective organic laws, the said law however specifically provides that ‘when the investigation being conducted by the NBI, PNP or any ad hoc anti-drug task force is found to be a violation of any of the provisions of this Act, the PDEA shall be the lead agency,’” the Memorandum stated. (PCO-Content)