PNP chief: Transfer of anti-drug war to PDEA proof Duterte follows the law
The sudden shift of designating the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to lead the anti-drug campaign instead of the Philippine National Police (PNP) only goes to show that President Rodrigo Duterte is following the law, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said Friday.
“Frustrated ang Presidente sa reaksyon ng taumbayan. It goes to show na si Presidente hindi diktador. Nakikiramdam sa pulso ng bayan (The President is frustrated with the reaction of our fellow countrymen. It goes to show that the President is not a dictator. He feels the pulse of the nation),” he told CNN Philippines.
Earlier this week, Duterte has ordered PDEA to become the sole agency tasked to carry out the war on drugs, an implementation of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The President said in a speech on Thursday night that his decision was meant to satisfy “bleeding hearts” and foreign critics meddling with the death toll from his drug campaign.
Dela Rosa said it was possible that the President was affected with the decline in his trust ratings, as well as the survey results that showed doubts of the citizens on the campaign against illegal drugs.
“Nakiramdam siguro na kung totoo ang sentimyento ng general public, yung lumabas sa survey. ‘I’m working for the Filipino people, kung dissatisfied sa war on drugs ihinto natin (He feels that the sentiments of the general public is real and the one that came out in the survey. He’s working for the Filipino people, if they are dissatisfied on the war on drugs, let’s just stop it),’” he said.
The PNP chief expressed regret that the sudden shift of the drug campaign could be advantageous to drug users.
“Nanghihinayang ako. Di ako plastic, parang babalik na naman sa zero. Mag pista, hallelujah ang mga drug lords, pushers (I regret it. I’m speaking honestly, it will go back again to zero. Drug lords and pushers will have their feast day),” he said.
PDEA chief Aaron Aquino earlier admitted that the impact of drug campaign operations might be limited due to their lack of manpower.
Dela Rosa said if things get worse, he might ask the President to restore their role in the drug war.
“If things get worse, pag di kakayanin, sabihin ko ’Sir pabalikin mo na kami. Kawawa naman mga pamilya natin’,” he said. /jpv
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