THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has issued a new memorandum-circular, setting up anti-illegal drug trafficking units in all its regional offices across the country.
Through this chain of Seaport Interdiction Units (SIUs), the PDEA leadership hopes to detect the entry of illegal drugs, including shabu, cocaine, heroin and designer drug “Ecstasy,” into the country.
Likewise, these SIUs will be a big help in stopping the exit of dangerous drugs through the country’s seaports, according to PDEA chairman Director-General Isidro S. Lapeña.
Memorandum-Circular No. 2017-30 lists the functions and responsibilities of the SIU, which plays the lead role in the joint investigation of cases resulting from anti-drug operations in ports.
Lapeña has ordered his regional directors to identify their priority seaports, where SIU agents will be assigned.
“To effectively and efficiently curb trafficking of illegal drugs through the ports, it is deemed necessary to establish a dedicated unit to guard these avenues,” said the retired three-star police general.
Both closely identified with President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Lapeña and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana are members of Class 1973 of the elite Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
The Philippines has one of the longest coastlines in the world, extending 2,000 kilometers from Batanes in the North down to Sulu in impoverished and troubled Mindanao.
Of course, like other well-meaning people, we share the view of Lapeña that there’s an urgent need to seal off our waters from becoming transit and dropping points for large volumes of illegal drugs.
Ito ay kung gusto nating matigil na ang pag-alis at pagpasok ng mga iligal na droga sa Pilipinas.