Lacson gives Robredo classified tips on dealing with big-time drug dealers
Update @ 1:23 a.m., Nov. 10, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo got classified tips from Sen. Panfilo Lacson on dealing with big-time drug dealers and importers.
Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, disclosed this in a phone patch interview with reporters on Saturday after meeting Robredo on Friday morning.
“There’s some classified information that I gave her and she appreciated it and took note of it. It could not be discussed publicly on how to deal with big-time drug dealers, especially the importers,” Lacson, speaking partly in Filipino, said.
“We discussed a lot of things. But some of it I don’t think should be shared because there are classified portions in our discussion,” he added.
The senator said he met with Robredo before she held her first meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
Robredo now co-chairs the anti-drug body with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino.
Lacson also mentioned that he and the Vice President agreed that it would be better for the government to shift its focus on constricting the illegal drug supply instead of cracking down on drug pushers and users.
“It makes a lot of sense, right? Because we’ve seen tons of shabu slip past through Customs. If you would focus on the demand, it involves drug addicts. And, of course, they are not able to think properly. They can end up dead or be thrown in jail. Their urges are strong,” Lacson said.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) earlier reported that there are over 5,000 drug suspects killed in anti-drug operations as of June 2019.
“If you focus on supply, the price of illegal drugs would become prohibitive and you would hit big-time drug dealers,” he added.
‘Intelligence, intelligence, intelligence’
“One thing we discussed, I told her that intelligence, intelligence, intelligence is very important. Intelligence is the prime mover of all operations, especially in law enforcement,” he said. “If you’re running blind and don’t know who your target is, what will you do?”
Lacson said he also informed Robredo on available resources for future initiatives or programs of the anti-agency body.
“I’m the one who defends the budget of the DDB [Dangerous Drugs Board] and PDEA [Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency[. So I gave her a briefer on all available resources. I mentioned to her that I allocated P15 million at the request of PDEA for the current year for ICAD, because it’s only an inter-agency committee, that’s what the PDEA requested,” he explained.
Lacson, meanwhile, said he told Robredo that he would refer active and former police officers to give her more information about dangerous drugs operation.
“I will refer a lot of people who are both in active service and newly retired who have a broad knowledge of dangerous drug operations. I will talk to them so they can help,” he said.
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