Eleazar disputes PDEA chief claim of ‘rampant’ drug recycling by cops
MANILA, Philippines —National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday refuted the claim of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino that the recycling of illegal drugs is still rampant among law enforcers.
Eleazar said there may be “isolated and limited” cases of drug recycling in Metro Manila, but added he does not believe it is rampant enough to be the primary reason for the continuing drug trade in Metro Manila.
“We appreciate the support that the PDEA has given us in our joint operations against illegal drugs. However, with all due respect, I cannot agree completely with PDEA Director Aaron Aquino’s statement in the Senate hearing yesterday that the main reason illegal drugs still proliferate is primarily due to the recycling of drugs by policemen themselves,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“Unless they can identify to us these said policemen with validated reports, the sweeping statement made by the PDEA Director is not necessarily true, on face value,” he said.
Eleazar cited cases where he had relieved from their posts an entire police unit where an officer was caught engaging in illegal drug activities.
He said the intensified internal cleansing program of the Philippine National Police being implemented in Metro Manila prompted police officers to “maintain a keen eye on their companions for fear of getting penalized and their jobs jeopardized.”
“No policeman now hesitates to come to us if they know of irregularities in their midst, especially on drugs,” he said.
He added that the NCRPO has earned the trust and respect of residents in Metro Manila, who according to him, do not hesitate to report abusive cops.
“That is why the claim of PDEA that the primary reason for the proliferation of drugs in Metro Manila is due to recycling by policemen defies logic. The aggression and ferocity by which we have dealt with these past narco-cops is enough to instill dread and fear among our commanders and our ranks,” Eleazar explained.
He then cited previous large seizures of illegal drugs by NCRPO operatives.
“Clearly, it is these big time distributors and huge quantities that sustain drug proliferation not only in Metro Manila but in other regions as well. This is where our drug agencies like the PDEA should now focus on,” Eleazar added.
Eleazar proposed that Senate should also examine and help resolve the problems on illegal drugs through legislation.
“Clearly too, the matter of policemen recycling business must be extremely isolated, if not non-existent at all, in Metro Manila. For sure, it cannot be the primary reason for drug proliferation in the Metropolis,” he said. /muf
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