PDEA chair vows 'less bloody' drug war

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED October 13, 2017 02:59 pm
Corpse of a drug suspect. Reuters file photo

(Inside Manila) Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chair Director General Aaron Aquino declared that the war on drugs will be “less bloody” under his watch now that President Rodrigo Duterte has tapped the Agency to take the lead of the government’s illegal drugs clampdown.


The retired police general said in a television interview Thursday, October 12, that he will see to it that all PDEA operatives will follow the standard operating procedures in the course of anti-drug operations.


He even asked members of the media to cover their drug raids as part of their transparency program.


“I’m asking all the media to join me in all my operations, you’re all welcome and lahat ng operations ko isama natin ang media, may body cams kami and everything,” Aquino said.


He also defended PDEA’s drug war figures, claiming that there are only 28 armed drug personalities killed during anti-narcotics operations from July 1, 2016 to September this year.


“That’s true, mula nung July 1, 2016 up to present nagkaroon lang ng 28 victims ng patayan that involved illegal drugs, sila po yung nakalaban namin and I can assure the public that these 28 are legitimate operations,” he explained.


Aquino, however, reiterated his earlier remark that they will still need the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the campaign against drugs since they lack manpower as PDEA has only more than 1,100 agents.


“Alam ko mahihirapan kami, there will be a lot of obstacles and challenges along the way but I can assure the public na kakayanin namin itong trabaho na ‘to, napakahirap dahil nga considering ang aming manpower ay dalawang libo lang kami and this is the number of personnel already operating in the region,” he said.

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