PDEA Calabarzon chief, 61 men relieved over extortion reports
The regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Calabarzon along with 61 agents and personnel have been relieved from their posts due to reports of extortion activities in Batangas and Cavite.
In a statement on Sunday, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said he ordered the relief of Regional Director Archie Grande and 61 agents and administrative and technical personnel assigned to the operations unit group.
Aquino said intelligence reports had linked them to a series of unlawful arrest and extortion activities in Batangas and Cavite.
Reports also bared that those relieved were involved in the “unlawful issuance of PDEA regionalized identification cards to confidential assets or informants.”
Recently, a series of crimes were committed involving people posing as PDEA agents.
In one instance on February 24, a certain Jhay-R Repana, 31, posed as a PDEA agent and was involved in a shooting incident in Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City, the PDEA Public Information Office said in a release.
Repana was later arrested in a follow up operation in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where authorities seized shabu, drug paraphernalia and a gun inside his vehicle.
“PDEA does not issue IDs to non-organic personnel, including assets and confidential informants. We only authorize the issuance of an ‘Agent’s Agreement’ – a project-based program (maximum of six months) to them, to perform intelligence woks against specific high-value target drug personalities,” Aquino said.
The PDEA chief reiterated his warning against unscrupulous people who masquerade as agents to discredit the PDEA.
“Once the credibility of an organization is put at stake, in this instance PDEA, we will not tolerate anyone who deliberately besmirches its integrity. We will remove rogue agents from our ranks so that they will not have the chance to influence others,” Aquino said. /cbb
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