PDEA to tap state agencies, barangays in fight vs illegal drugs

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 3 (PNA)--The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will tap other government agencies and barangays that would serve as “force multipliers” to fight the illegal drug trade in the country.

“PDEA will make adjustments in filling the gap left behind by the PNP by tapping other government agencies and the barangays as force multipliers to help in the national anti-drug campaign as provided by law,” said PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña in a statement sent to its Bicol office.

He said the scheme aims to fill the gap left by the different de-activated anti-drug units of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Lapeña said even as the PNP is prevented from conducting anti-drug operations, it would maintain close coordination with PDEA on all drug-related matters, such as gathering, processing and validating of anti-drug information, and monitoring of drug personalities, including self-confessed drug users and pushers who voluntarily surrendered nationwide.

He said that other law enforcement agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Customs will continue to conduct anti-drug operations.

“Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are likewise in the fold to reinforce anti-drug operations in hostile territories and mountainous areas, particularly during marijuana eradication operations,” said Lapeña.

PDEA has reiterated its call for the creation of anti-drug abuse councils nationwide in order to hasten efforts against illegal drugs in communities and to promote involvement of local barangays in the suppression of drug trafficking and abuse.

“It is imperative that every barangay, as the first line of defense, must be self-policing and self-reliant against dangerous drugs,” he said.

Lapeña stressed that PDEA is not fighting a lonely battle as it is bringing the fight to the grassroots level.

“We need everyone to follow our lead, get involved and contribute in the best way possible,” he said. (PNA)
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