MANILA - The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency should have directly coordinated with the national police over the alleged recycling of narcotics by some of its officers, instead of baring the information in a legislative hearing, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino told lawmakers last week that some policemen resell drugs seized in operations or use them as planted evidence. Some officers also foiled 3 attempts to arrest a major drug supplier, he said in a DZMM interview.
"It could have been better kung nagkaroon na lang ng direct coordination. Anytime naman pwedeng mag-usap iyong bawat ahensya — padala ka ng representative mo, call ka ng conference, mayroon namang inter-committee on anti-drugs. You don't have to go to Senate or any public forum to announce anything," Año told reporters.
(It could have been better if there was direct coordination. Agencies can talk among each other anytime — send a representative, call for a conference, there's an inter-committee on anti-drugs.)
"If we want to really stop all these criminal activities, particularly on drugs operations, siguro kami-kami na lang dapat mag-usap dito para mas mabilis ang action (we should talk about it just among ourselves so that the action would be faster)," he said.
Of 87 policemen previously suspected of ties to the narcotics trade, only 7 remained under watch, said Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde.
"Kung talagang meron silang itinuturo, then in fairness naman doon sa mga pulis or even kung kanino, mabigyan din ng pagkakataon para sabihin iyong kanilang side dito. Let us not make the mistake that we're just for the perception of one person or some persons, we'll base iyong ating accusations," he said in the same press conference.
"Our appeal is for everyone to share information, work on a common goal to assure our community that everything is being done by the Philippine National Police to address the problem of drugs," added National Police Commission vice chairman and executive officer Rogelio Casurao.
Aside from Aquino, PNP official-turned-Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong also told lawmakers last week that a "high-ranking" police official was allegedly protecting subordinates engaged in drug activities.
Magalong, former chief of the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, accused several Pampanga policemen of recycling drugs back in 2007, when Albayalde was still the province's chief, noted Casurao.
The charges filed by Magalong, he said, were dismissed due to lack of evidence and the policemen involved were reinstated.
With a report from Rafael Santos, ABS-CBN News