PNP mulls abolition of special anti-drug units

Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2023 06:05 PM

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said it was studying whether to retain or abolish special operations units attached to its anti-illegal drug efforts, including those under its own drug enforcement group. 

PNP Chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda said he was studying the move carefully, noting that he wanted intelligence-driven campaigns instead.

The move comes after drug-related controversies in the PNP, including an alleged coverup of a major bust in Manila which saw the confiscation of P6.7 billion worth of shabu.

"It's on my table and we need to really study it, but the direction is if we will be agreeable with the other minds na makokonsulta natin (that we will consult)," Acorda said.

The PNP chief said his organization was also vetting drug enforcement units nationwide.

For its part, the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) said it was waiting for instructions from the police leadership as it continued its drug operations.

"We are preparing if may orders na i-dissolve SOUs. In other words, waiting for approval while preparing kung ano gagawin namin once may order," PDEG Deputy Director for Administration Col. Marlou Martinez said.

Martinez said the possible abolition of some special operations units would have an impact, mostly on the movement of personnel, evidence, and jurisdiction. 

But at the same time, the move could also improve monitoring and control of operating units, he said.

"Ang mangyayari kasi kapag dinissolve natin SOUs lahat tayo back to barracks. Lahat sila pupunta na dito and from here kung may operation tayo sa malayong lugar," Martinez said.

(If we dissolve SOUs, we will return to the barracks. And from here, we will go to far-flung areas if we have operations.)


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