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Duterte to dismantle ‘contaminated’ PDEA

By PETER LAVINA

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte vowed to dismantle the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) which he said has been “contaminated.”

“Yung PDEA ngayon bungkagon nako na. Wala na siya, nacontaminate na (I will dismantle PDEA. It’s already been contaminated),” Duterte told a huge crowd that had gathered at the Remedios T. Romualdez Plaza in Tacloban City on Monday night.

The mayor made the statement as he introduced former PDEA director general Dionisio Santiago and asked the people to vote him into the Senate.

“If you don’t vote for him, I will appoint him. But not to PDEA, it will have a different name. I have to disband PDEA,” Duterte said.

Duterte did not elaborate, but during the burning of P500 million worth of cocaine in Davao City in 2014 he had said he wanted the destruction of the drugs done in his city because he knew the cocaine would end up being resold in the streets.

“I will not allow na igawas na sa Davao… Pag abot anag Manila mo libot na pud na (I will not allow it to leave Davao… When it reaches Manila it will be circulated again),” the mayor had told reporters.

Duterte, during a Laoag sortie in mid-February, said: “Duda ako dito sa PDEA,” referring to some PDEA personnel’s involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs.

Santiago himself admitted that during his stint with PDEA, he had several personnel investigated for allegedly coddling drug pushers and even drug lords.

He said it is disappointing that these personnel are still in active duty up to this time at the anti-drug enforcement agency.

“Inadopt sila ng mga pumalit sa akin (They were adopted by those who replaced me),” he said.

“There is something wrong going on with PDEA,” Santiago said. “A lifestyle check should be done among PDEA personnel. The cleansing should be a continuing process.”

He said the problem does not end with PDEA. “Kailangan tutukan ang investigation ng mga personnel na may kaso hanggang sa civil service (We must closely follow the investigation on personnel who have cases all the way up to the Civil Service Commission),” he said.

Peter Lavina/The New Ranao Star


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