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PDEA seeks PNP’s help to arrest gov’t officials, employees involved in drugs

  • Written by Alfred Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 3557

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency yesterday sought the help of the Philippine National Police in going after public officials and employees who are into drug trafficking and abuse.
   
PDEA chair Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac Jr. asked PNP Officer-in-Charge Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina and PNP-AIDSOTF commander Senior Supt. Bartolome C. Tobias to help them catch government workers who are violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in the wake of a noted increase in the number of rogue public officials and employees getting involved in illegal drugs in the country.
   
A PDEA report said in 2014, some 190 government men -- composed of 56 elected officials, 49 law enforcers and 85 government employees -- were arrested for drugs. 
   
“This is 37.68 percent higher than the figures in 2013 when 138 government officials were arrested for violating the anti-drug law and the highest since 2011,” Cacdac said.
   
Cacdac expressed concern the number is increasing significantly each succeeding year, thus, the need to take aggressive action.
   
He said out of the 56 elected officials arrested last year, one was a municipal councilor in Matanog, Maguindanao while 55 others were either barangay chairmen or barangay councilors.   He added that among law enforcers, the highest-ranked official arrested for drugs is a police chief inspector or major in the Armed Forces.
   
Most of the arrested government officials and employees were from the Ilocos region with 25, followed by Eastern Visayas with 22. Zamboanga Peninsula and Northern Mindanao have the highest recorded arrests of law enforcers with 10 and 8, respectively.
   
“It is alarming that more and more government officials and law enforcers are getting involved in illegal drug activities when they are supposed to implement the law, maintain peace and order in their area and promote the well-being of the people,” Cacdac said.
   
Two weeks ago, a maintenance man of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Southern Leyte and a contractual employee of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) were also arrested by PDEA agents for drug-related offenses.
   
Last month, the PDEA and PNP-AIDSOTF combining forces smashed drug facilities in Masbate City and Cagayan believed being maintained by some Chinese nationals with the help of local politicians.
   
Cacdac urged the public to send their information to the PDEA 24/7 Text Hotline, a round-the-clock message center donated by Go Live Pacific, a leading global provider of technology-enabled solutions and services.
   
To send anti-drug reports to PDEA 24/7 Text Hotline, simply text the name of drug users/pushers and complete address of the incident and send to 09998887332 (Smart); 09279150616 (Globe); and 09255737332 (Sun).
   
To know the status, send STAT [space] REFERENCE NUMBER to any of the above numbers, Cacdac said.