Duterte to meet 12 minors ‘rescued’ by PDEA
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet the 12 minors rescued by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in an operation in Navotas City on Wednesday, PDEA chief Director General Aaron Aquino said on Friday, after a viral social media post claimed the children were mishandled.
Aquino said the meeting with the President could happen next week.
According to Aquino, Duterte told him he almost cried when he a saw a video of the minors being rescued in the operation.
“One of these days the President will talk to these children, kasi nga unang isang araw nagkausap kami ni Presidente at sabi niya sa akin, he almost cried seeing that video,” Aquino told reporters in a press conference.
(One of these days the President will talk to these children, because the day before yesterday we talked and the President told me that he almost cried seeking that video.)
Aquino said the President would like to speak with the children to give them advice and to hopefully speak with their parents.
Aquino also denied that the PDEA agents mishandled the minors. He said photos which claimed the children were being paraded before the media actually showed them heading to the vehicle of authorities after the rescue.
“I don’t know why they are trying to bash PDEA about this. We never paraded these children,” he said.
He said the children were properly taken care of and fed by the PDEA after the operation. He added that protocols of the agency in conducting rescue operations to minors involved in illegal drugs were also properly observed by the agents.
PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon said that the person who posted the photos in social media was not present during the operation and only sourced the photos from a media practitioner who covered the rescue. /gsg
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.