MANILA, Philippines—The chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Monday brushed off allegations made by one of the agency’s personnel that he was reluctant to go after Chinese drug lords.
Speaking at the weekly flag-raising ceremony at the agency’s headquarters in Quezon City, PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac said that launching operations against “high-value targets” was one of the main policies under his tenure.
“It’s not true that I’m afraid to run after Chinese or Chinese-Filipino drug syndicates. Since I graduated from the PMA (Philippine Military Academy) in 1978, I knew that my life would be in danger,” Cacdac read from a prepared speech written in Filipino.
He said he was not afraid because what the PDEA was doing was right.
Cacdac, a retired police deputy director general, the equivalent of a three-star general in the military, was reacting to allegations made by PDEA Investigation Agent 3 Jonathan Morales that Cacdac had failed to order operations against big drug syndicates.
In an interview with ABS-CBN last week, Morales warned that the cases against arrested Chinese drug suspects might be dismissed in court because of the growing demoralization among PDEA agents.
“The cases against the arrested Chinese drug lords would only be dismissed. We may lose the evidence against them. The effort of the government and PDEA would be put to waste,” Morales said.
“I don’t understand if they are just afraid of the drug syndicates or if they are getting something from them because they don’t want to go after them.” he had also said.
But Cacdac said that only PDEA agents facing various criminal charges in the Office of the Ombudsman and other courts were frustrated by his leadership as he had ordered the filing of cases against some of them.—Marlon Ramos