DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police on Monday re-launched its anti-illegal drugs campaign dubbed as “Oplan Double Barrel,” promising this time a well-coordinated execution of the “war on drugs” operations.
“The war on drugs is on, and this time it is going to be more extensive, aggressive and well-coordinated, with built-in systems that guarantee full accountability and instill internal discipline among all personnel” PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said in a statement.
The PNP chief’s announcement came after the suspension of the campaign back in January because of the involvement of anti-narcotics operatives.
Dela Rosa said the activation of the law enforcement agency’s drug enforcement group was in support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
He pointed out that such decision was with the concurrence of the PNP Command Group and Quad-Staff “after careful evaluation of the prevailing drug situation in the different regions since the suspension of all police anti-drug operations.”
“According to our assessment of the drug situation as validated by PDEA’s own estimates, there has been a hike in drug activities during the period when we suspended our anti-drug operations, particularly against, street and middle level drug traffickers, and high-value targets.” Dela Rosa said.
The defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group is now the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, a national operational support unit with the mission and function to be the lead unit in police anti-drug operations.
“Until today, we continue to receive reports of the resurgence of drug activities even in some areas that had been previously “cleared” It only goes to show that we cannot afford to lower our guard when confronting a vicious enemy. There must be continuity of effort if the desire is to completely eradicate the problem,” the PNP chief added.
The creation of PNP DEG was a mandate from NAPOLCOM Resolution No. 2015-547 which was passed on October 2015 of which Dela Rosa said “remains in effect to this date sans the passage of a NAPOLCOM resolution for its official deactivation.”
There will be 18 Regional Drug Enforcement Units and five District Drug Enforcement Units in the National Capital Region police districts shall be created while Drug Enforcement Teams to be organized in the provincial, city and municipal police offices and stations.
“We cannot turn our back in this fight because the future of succeeding generations depends on how well we fight the war on drugs today” he said. (davaotoday.com)