Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro S. LapeAa issued the warning amid reports that unscrupulous men who introduced themselves as PDEA agents and personnel are extorting money in exchange for protection.
"We are appealing to the public to be vigilant in dealing with people posing as PDEA operatives and personnel with the promise of removing persons of interest from the list of targeted drug personalities by issuing certificates in return," said LapeAa in the aftermath of the voluntary surrender of thousands of self-confessed drug users and pushers nationwide.
Reports revealed that invitations/orders to surrender was issued by suspicious individuals using the heading of PDEA Drugbuster, the official newsletter of the Agency, forging the signatures of the PDEA chief and PDEA Regional Office 7 (PDEA RO7) Director allegedly directing a person/s to surrender to the regional office.
Also, there are reports that spurious individuals, or groups fraudulently representing the Agency are accepting processing fees as payment from applicants for the PDEA Drug Enforcement Officers' Basic Course (DEOBC) Training- a six-month comprehensive and regimented course to become bonafide PDEA agents.
"The public should be warned about this. This is not the first time that certain person/s usurped the identity of PDEA to perpetrate illegal activities. On our part, we will not tolerate this. We are presently implementing intensive cleansing among our ranks to protect the name and integrity of the agency," LapeAa added.
PDEA advises the public to immediately report suspicious individuals introducing themselves as PDEA agents and personnel while committing criminal acts. Complaints may be relayed by calling PDEA Hotlines: 09393960627, (02) 920-0735 and (02) 920-0736.
Source: Philippine Information Agency