Duterte creates Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs
President Rodrigo Duterte has created the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), which includes the military, to oversee and synchronize government efforts to combat the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
Executive Order 15, which Duterte signed on March 6, also provides for the creation of a National Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force that will undertake sustained anti-illegal drugs operations.
The order designates the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as head of ICAD that would include as members 20 government entities, including the Department of Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The issuance of the order comes not long after Malacañang disclosed plans to tap soldiers in the fight against the narcotics scourge, especially after the police had been stopped from involvement in anti-drug operations.
The police have since resumed their anti-narcotics campaign.
The other agencies represented in the committee are:
- Department of Justice
- Department of the Interior and Local Government
- Dangerous Drugs Board
- Philippine National Police
- National Bureau of Investigation
- Department of Health
- Anti-Money Laundering Council
- Office of the Solicitor General
- Department of Education
- Department of Social Welfare and Development
- Department of Trade and Industry
- Department of Agriculture
- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
- Philippine Information Agency
- Public Attorney’s Office
- Philippine Coast Guard
- Bureau of Customs
- Bureau of Immigration
“The ICAD shall ensure that each member agency shall implement and comply with all policies, laws, and issuances pertaining to the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign in an integrated and synchronized manner,” the order states.
Its tasks include ensuring the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations and arrest of high-value drug personalities and street-level peddlers and users.
It is also duty bound to cleanse the bureaucracy of unscrupulous personnel involved in illegal drug activities and conduct advocacy campaign initiatives.
It is expected to see to the implementation of the National Anti-Drug Plan of the Action and of the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program.
The National Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force will be made up of members of law enforcement agencies, including members of the institutions called upon for assistance by virtue of the order.
The President would be the one to name the head of the task force, who should be a senior law enforcement officer.
The task force is required to coordinate its operations with the PDEA.
The ICAD can enlist the assistance of public and private agencies, including local government units, to help the government’s anti-drug campaign.
It will seek the assistance of the Office of the Ombudsman in the investigation and prosecution of public officials involved in illegal drug activities.
The EO also requires the ICAD to form clusters on enforcement, justice, advocacy, and rehabilitation and reintegration to handle specific tasks.
The funding for the implementation of the order would come from the available funds of the committee members “and other appropriate funding sources.”/atm
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