Drug claims must be in black and white — Panelo

September 16, 2019
Salvador Panelo

PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino should put into writing his claims that drug trade at the national penitentiary as well as drug recycling by some law enforcement agencies remain prevalent.

“Has Mr. Aquino submitted a memorandum to the President relative to that? We have to ask him first. If he has, then we will find out what action the President made,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing yesterday.

Aquino earlier said he already had a one-on-one talk with President Rodrigo Duterte where he raised the issue.

Aquino said PDEA used to have a satellite office at the New Bilibid Prison but it was evicted during the time of then BuCor chief and now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

Their satellite office at the national penitentiary was supposed to be revived under the term of recently fired BuCor boss Nicanor Faeldon, but Aquino said Faeldon’s “bad blood” toward him prevented it.

He also said Faeldon shot down his proposal to require inmates there to undergo drug tests.

According to Panelo, he was not aware of such a meeting between Duterte and Aquino.

“I’ll ask him (Duterte) about it,” Panelo said.

He then said Aquino should write a letter to the President about the issues he raised.
“Ask him (Aquino) if he has submitted a memorandum,” Panelo said.

During the Senate hearing Monday, Aquino said recycling of illegal drugs confiscated in buy-bust operations is “still rampant.”

“There are still reports [of recycling], especially some law enforcement agencies, whenever we seize drugs,” Aquino told the senators.