The Taguig City government is withdrawing its support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) following the arrest of a ranking official and two officers of the agency in drug dealing.
On Wednesday, the Southern Police District announced the arrest of PDEA Southern District Office (PDEA-SDO) chief Enrique Lucero and agents Anthony Vic Alabastro and Jaireh Llaguno in a buy-bust operation conducted in their office in Upper Bicutan, Taguig.
Seized from the suspects were a total of 1.3 kilos of shabu worth more than P9 million, four firearms, a digital weighing scale, and the cash and boodle money used in the police operation Tuesday night.
“The City is temporarily suspending its support to and coordination with PDEA pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. The City insists that those involved should be held accountable,” Mayor Laarni Cayetano said.
She said her administration also “condemns in an unequivocal manner the illegal drug activities of PDEA-SDO chief, two PDEA agents, and one driver who were arrested in an operation conducted at the city-owned building which serves as PDEA office. It is a betrayal of the highest order.”
Cayetano said in 2018, the city escalated its support to PDEA’s mandate by turning over for its use a newly-constructed building. She added the city government expected the agency to collaborate closely with the city’s police and anti-drug abuse council.
“The criminal participation of drug enforcers in illicit drug activities, using facilities provided by the city, is repugnant and inexcusable. The involvement of PDEA officers in the criminal activities they are supposed to stop has forced the city to reconsider its decision,” she said.
The local government also demanded that the building used by PDEA be returned, saying it will be “repurposed for a worthy public use.”
“The City will only resume its support to and cooperation with PDEA once it has shown serious efforts to cleanse its ranks of scalawags. The City is dead serious about the fight against illegal drugs. It demands the same level of commitment from PDEA,” Cayetano said.
The city government reiterates its Zero Tolerance Policy on illegal drugs, and warns all drug users and peddlers in Taguig, including those working in government, that their positions would not shield them from the full force of the law.
“While the City is dismayed at PDEA’s abject failure to monitor the activities of agents it stationed in Taguig, it is gratified that the PNP-NCRPO and the Southern Police District did not shrink from their duty to go after all drug violators particularly those who ironically are tasked to be on the forefront of the anti-drug campaign. The City thanks the PNP officers for their loyalty to their oaths of office,” Cayetano said.