The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Bohol expressed concern after the government agency was tasked to solely lead the Duterte administration’s war on drugs nationwide.
Agent Nicholas Gomez, in an interview with station dyRD on Thursday, bared that the PDEA in Bohol does not have enough personnel to carry out frequent anti-drug operations.
The PDEA’s local office only has five agents, as indicated in the latest personnel data disclosed by the agency.
According to Gomez, they may still request assistance from the Philippine National Police (PNP) due to their lack of manpower.
However, based on President Rodrigo Duterte’s new order, the PDEA has been tasked as the “sole agency” that will carry out operations against narcotics trade.
The policy mandated all law enforcement agencies including the military to “leave to the PDEA” the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations.
Meanwhile, the PNP was relegated to “maintain police visibility as a deterrent to illegal drug activities.”
Duterte’s directive came after the release of a Social Weather Stations survey which indicated a sharp decline in his satisfaction and trust ratings.
The president’s net satisfaction rating, although still considered “good,” dipped by 18 points to 48, according to the September poll with 1,200 Filipino respondents.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, through national media, earlier ascribed the rating decline to the alleged drug-related killing of three minors by PNP personnel in Metro Manila.
In late January, the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation were temporarily barred from conducting anti-illegal drug operations in the wake of a scandal involving the abduction and murder of South Korean trader Jee Ick-joo inside Camp Crame on Oct. 18, 2016.
Both law enforcement agencies rejoined the anti-drug campaign a month after the suspension. (R. Tutas)