MANILA- Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa has ordered that all drug enforcement units (DEUs) of the police nationwide be dissolved effective immediately.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take the lead in the anti-drug campaign.
"Wala tayong maga[ga]wa. We have to abide by the order of the President. We have to follow the provisions of the executive order. Wala, hands off. Pahinga," Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said all DEUs in the country will be assigned to other tasks.
"Dissolved na. Wala na kaming papel sa drugs. Wala nang gamit ang DEU. Ia-assign sa ibang unit para magamit. Isipin mo lang, bawat istasyon, merong DEU. Ilang istasyon yan buong Pilipinas," Dela Rosa explained.
The top cop lamented that the momentum the police gained on the war on drugs would suffer, especially now that the DEU has been ordered to back-off.
"Sayang talaga. Imagine mo lang yung vacuum na maiwan namin, 185,000 policemen mag-back-off on drugs. Maiwan na lang ang PDEA, 1,700 na PDEA," he said.
Dela Rosa believes the drug lords and drug personalities are rejoicing that the police have been ordered to take a back seat in the anti-narcotics drive.
"Siguradong piyesta na naman ang mga drug lord niyan. Mga drug personalities tuloy ang ligaya. Sana hindi sila babalik. 'Wag na silang bumalik sa negosyo nila," he said.
"Masaya sila ngayon, back to business sila ngayon kung gusto nila," he added.
Dela Rosa, however, clarified that the PNP-Drug Enforcement Group will still continue to exist to conduct information-gathering and refer cases to PDEA.
"Hindi naman madi-dissolve ang PDEA, nandiyan pa rin sila, may mga hinahawakang mga kaso yan eh... Trabaho lang nila, monitoring lang sila. Build up, information gathering kung meron silang info [rmation]. Pasa nila sa PDEA para i-operate ng PDEA," he said.