I hope and pray that President Duterte will finally step in and call on the Bureau of Customs and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to stop their week-long ‘word war’ which is bringing embarrassment to the government. Obviously, only drug lords and manufacturers are laughing at this development and making all kinds of diversions or smokescreens to cover up their illicit trade.
I have high respect for both BoC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña and PDEA chair, Director General Aaron Aquino—both veteran Davao City-based police officials- and wish that the Palace higher-ups will ask them to patch up whatever is their difference which is literally being blown up by some quarters with an obvious agenda: that is to undermine the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Both retired police generals Lapeña and Aquino are products of the elite Philippine Military Academy, the former being a member of PMA Class 1973 and the latter a product of PMA Class 1985. I heard it from many sources that Gen. Sid Lapeña was asked by top police advisers of President Duterte to lead the team of Peemayers in Malacañang shortly after the former Davao City mayor won the presidency.
In short, he is highest-ranked retired police general and graduate of the PMA who joined the Duterte administration, 1st as PDEA chair and later BoC commissioner. On the other hand, Aquino used to be a Deputy Regional Director for Administration of the Police Regional Office 11 in Southern Mindanao, a position which earned him his star-rank and later catapulted him to the top PRO3 post in Central Luzon until he was designated as PDEA chair upon retirement.
Some members of the press tried to seek his comment on the matter but PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde was correct in refusing to make any statement regarding the recent huge drug shipment in the country and instead said they want all other government law enforcement agencies to join them in their effort to ‘harmonize’ their anti-narcotics campaign.
All that the PNP chief said is that if the claim of Aquino that an estimated P6.8 billion worth of shabu were smuggled using Customs’ facilities, they would help the two agencies recovered the stuff.
Aquino’s office earlier said he never came out with any statement calling on President Duterte to hold Commissioner Lapeña accountable for the alleged P6.8B shabu that were contained in the four empty magnetic lifters that were found in a warehouse in Trece Martires Cavite.
Aquino also defended the accuracy and use of impurity profiling of confiscated drugs in the country by his Agency. He described Impurity Drug Profiling as a scientific tool applying chemical and physical techniques to determine if a relation exists between illicit drug seizures and the significance of such relationship.
Aquino also wished to clarify that “we are not doing this to discredit any counterpart agencies but rather only to support our claims that we believe shabu supply is abundant and impurity profiling revealed that they are similar to the shabu that was recovered from the magnetic lifter at MICP.
PNP DRUG ENFORCEMENT GROUP CERTIFIED AS PGS-PROFICIENT
Last Monday, I was watching when Gen. Albayalde conferred the ‘Proficient’ status to the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Chief Superintendent Albert Ignatius Ferro for satisfying all mandatory requirements for the 3rd state of their Performance Governance System aimed at building a more effective, credible and efficient police organization.
The PNP chief was joined by National Police Commission vice chairman Roger. Casurao and Napolcom Commissioner Jun Serapio in presenting a PGS plaque with the pin of Proficient Status and Silver Eagle Award to the PNP-DEG for garnering an overall rating of 91.38 percent during a proficiency evaluation process supervised by the Center for Police Strategy Management headed by Chief Supt. Noel Baraceros.
Also conferred the same PGS-Proficient status was the PNP Training Service under Chief Supt. Elpidio Gabriel Jr. The two units were given the award after passing the strategic readiness test, a full performance audit and the unit revalida or performance governance reporting.
The PNP-DEG is one of the national police’s youngest units having been activated only 18 months ago. It used to be known as the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group. It was formed to be the main PNP unit tasked to go after big-time illegal drug traffickers, manufacturers and importers in the country as ordered by President Duterte when he assumed the presidency on July 2016.
Ferro was right when he said that “despite the many challenges we have encountered after the abolition of the PNP-AIDG and shortly after the PNP-DEG was activated, it did not stop us to work hard in this battle as we have now fulfilled the Proficiency State at its silver level. We also encourage everyone to keep the fire burning and let us again work harder to surpass the challenges confronting our organization.” said Ferro.
The member of PMA Class 1989 credited their award to the hard work and dedication of every PNP-DEG personnel who have played a part in all successful anti-narcotics operations of the unit. Sadly, latest developments in the unit has brought its morale down. However, i know it will pass and the PNP-DEG can restore some of its lost glory by buckling down to work and scoring major accomplishments like what it its predecessor has achieved in the past.