Crackdown on drug trade ‘high value targets’ to continue : PNP chief

MANILA Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said Friday the government's special units against the illegal drugs trade will continue to focus on high-value targets (HVTs).

In a press briefing, Albayalde said he has discussed the matter with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief, Director General Aaron Aquino, to focus special units, such as the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), on arresting HVTs similar to the Filipino Chinese recently nabbed in a parking lot in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

"Nag-usap na rin kami ni director ng PDEA. Magtutulungan kami, especially with the HVTs, dahil ang tutok talaga ng mga special units natin like the PDEG, yan dapat ang tinutukan ang mga HVT (We have asked PDEA to work with us, especially with the HVTs, and to have special units focus on these HVTs)," Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said it would be up to the 2,000-plus precincts and sub-offices of the PNP in the country to go after small-time pushers in their respective areas.

"We leave to our territorial units yung mga barangay level pushers. We have to concentrate on the HVTs, like doon sa parking lot ng Alabang, mga Chinese na nahuli doon. (We leave the barangay level pushers to our territorial units. We have to concentrate on the HVTs, for instance in the parking lot of Alabang, Chinese nationals were caught there.) I think we are on the right track here, he said.

The new PNP chief was also surprised with the figures cited in reports supposedly from a European Parliament resolution, condemning "12,000 deaths" in the Philippine government's anti-drug campaign.

"Una, hindi natin alam kung saan nila nakuha yung data nila na more than 12,000 daw yata. We really do not know. If they can give us details of those sinasabi nila 12,000 dead, probably we will be able to check kung totoo yung data nila yun dahil napakalaki nun, bloated kung pagmasdan (if the data is accurate, considering that that figure is huge and seems bloated)... Meron nagsasabi 7,000 ngayon 12,000 na naman. Baka bukas nasa 20,000 na yan. (We do not where they got their data that there are more than 12,000 dead. If they can give us details of those dead, probably we will be able to check their data's accuracy. It seems bloated. Tomorrow, they might claim the number is already 20,000)," Albayalde said.

He reiterated that former PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa attended Senate hearings on the matter, adding that data and spot reports have already been furnished to the legislative inquiries, so covering up these reports is unlikely.

Albayalde said "the list of drug personalities must be deliberated upon and adjudicated."

"So it is very important that we evaluate, deliberate and adjudicate these people," he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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