New PDEA Metro Manila chief faces ‘worst drug affectation’
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has named the new head of its office in Metro Manila, the region with the worst infestation of illegal drugs in the country.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino tapped Ismael Fajardo Jr. to replace Wilkins Villanueva, who crossed over to the Bureau of Customs as chief of its intelligence and investigation service.
Fajardo formally assumed the post on Friday following simple turnover rites.
Highest rate in PH
He joined PDEA in 2014 as head of the agency’s special enforcement service and was designated as director of the Central Luzon office in May this year.
“A lot of work must be done. NCR (the National Capital Region) has the highest rate of barangay drug-affectation in the country,” Aquino said, addressing Fajardo and PDEA employees.
“Owing to his (Fajardo’s) vast experience and impressive credentials, I am confident that Fajardo will deliver results to significantly reduce the extent of the drug problem in the region,” he added.
Fajardo served in the Philippine National Police for 35 years, holding key posts in the campaign against illegal drugs.
In July, a year after the government initiated its war on drugs, PDEA said it cleared about 23 percent, or 4,801, of 20,872 barangays nationwide of illegal drugs.
According to the agency, Metro Manila has the worst rate of “drug affectation” at 96.48 percent, followed by the Caraga region and Western Mindanao.
A barangay is considered drug-affected when there is presence in the area of drug users, pushers, marijuana growers or other drug personalities, drug dens, marijuana plantations, clandestine drug laboratories and other facilities related to the manufacture of narcotics.