MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III said he has designated Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr. as the chair of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) as a way to divide the work between them.
He said the division of labor will ensure that there will be focus in anti-crime efforts. In the previous administration, the PAOCC was chaired by President Arroyo herself.
"He will handle it on a more day-to-day basis. But since he is my subordinate, he will also be reporting to me. So, nagdi-division of labor lang kami sa dami ng kailangang gawin dito, para siguraduhing may focus, especially on the crime," Aquino told reporters.
Aquino wants the PAOCC to chair and supervise efforts to combat the proliferation of drugs, pointing out that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is short on resources.
"As you know, I have these issues with drugs in particular. For instance, PDEA has a total number of 16 dogs for the entire country, iyong anti-drug dogs, obviously iyong 16 dogs cannot help us secure our borders. Iyong things like that needs a lot of focus and iyong coordination nga,” he said.
“Ngayon, si Executive Secretary will be in better position at this point in time to supervise all of them on a day-to-day basis, para I can do it in a more periodic basis rather than on a day-to-day basis," Aquino added.
He also cited the difficulty of securing the country's borders against the smuggling of drugs, even as he was told there are no longer large-scale drug laboratories here.
"We have 36,000 nautical miles of coastline, we have 132 ships, almost every portion of that coastline is vulnerable to smuggling, which is the primary route of introduction by drugs here,” he added.
Aquino said carjacking and kidnapping, especially in Mindanao, should also be addressed.
"Again, iyong what we inherited is a unit that has exactly one dog per region. Iyong one dog works for two hours at a stretch. So, one has to wonder, bakit ganoon iyong naging suporta sa PDEA, bakit iyan lang ang capabilities nila? So that is one of them, there are others, carnapping, kidnapping, especially kidnapping in Mindanao, is also a primary focus,” he said.