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PDEA chief: Drug syndicates may be behind agent’s murder

/ 12:21 AM February 21, 2019
Director General Aaron Aquino of PDEA

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino. (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Drug syndicates may be behind the murder of an agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Director General Aaron Aquino, PDEA chief, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

On Monday, the body of agent Enrico Barba was found in a concrete canal in Camarines Sur. His mouth and hands were wrapped with packaging tape.

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Earlier, he had been in a meeting with a supposed informant in the town of Daet.

The pocket of Barba’s shorts also had a small cardboard sheet saying that he was a drug pusher.

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“We are not discounting the possibility that the killing of agent Barba is job-related,” Aquino said. “He may have been set up by drug syndicates who have been affected by our aggressive anti-drug operations.”

According to PDEA, Barba was only recently promoted as Intelligence Officer II and was assigned as the assistant provincial officer of the PDEA office in Camarines Norte.

Aquino said the attack might have been aimed at demoralizing other PDEA agents, but he said that they would not be cowed by the incident.

“We strongly defy the threat and we strongly condemn this violence against our agents,” Aquino said. “We are more determined in our continuing fight against illegal drugs and their purveyors.” /atm

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TAGS: Aaron Aquino, Enrico Barba, PDEA, slain PDEA agent, war on drugs
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