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Sotto says mega drug rehab center can also be training facility

/ 03:02 PM November 08, 2017
Vicente Sotto III

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. (File photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Aside from being just a drug rehabilitation facility, the controversial mega drug rehab center in Nueva Ecija could also be utilized as a drug enforcement academy, Senator Vicente Sotto III said on Wednesday.

“In line with the issue regarding the mega drug rehab center, I still believe that the facility can be put to optimum use,” Sotto said in a statement.

“Aside from being just a drug rehab facility, it can also be utilized as the country’s mega drug enforcement academy,” he added.

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The senator said that if established, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) could oversee it as an extension of the present PDEA Academy.

“With that size, we could produce a thousand agents per batch. Alongside PDEA, other agencies such as BOC, Immigration, PNP, and NBI can avail of the drug interdiction training program,” he said, likening the idea to that of the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, Thailand.

Sotto said President Rodrigo Duterte may also seek assistance of guest instructors from China’s police academy, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, Australian police academy and others to make it a “word-class training facility.”

“Infrastructure development on land especially as a gift is always acknowledged, an Asian cultural trait,” the senator said.

The large-scale drug rehabilitation facility in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija was previously criticized by former Dangerous Drugs Board Chief Dionisio Santiago, dismissing it as “impractical and a mistake.”

READ: Drugs board chief: 10,000-bed rehab center in Nueva Ecija a ’mistake’

In the wake of his pronouncement, Santiago resigned from his post on Tuesday.

The Malacañang, meanwhile, has defended the project, which was funded by a Chinese businessman. /jpv

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TAGS: Drug Rehab Center, duterte, PDEA, Santiago, Senate, Sotto
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