Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno has created a legal and investigatory task force that will handle the investigation of all past and incumbent local public officials with alleged links to illegal drugs.
Sueno said the task force, dubbed as DILG Task Force Agila, will also take charge of the reception of evidence, documentation, strategy, case determination and case development against local public officials who have been and will be publicly named by President Duterte as involved in illegal drugs.
"We are 101 percent behind the President in his campaign against criminality and illegal drugs. This is why we created Task Force Agila to ensure a thorough probe against the so-called narco execs," he said.
The said public officials, he said, will be known as "persons of interest" for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs either as protector, pusher, financer or user.
The Secretary said Task Force Agila is authorized to demand and receive data about the persons of interest, coordinate with other government departments, bureaus, agencies and offices, as well as to make recommendations based on its findings.
He said the task force may also request assistance from any uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the DILG, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), and other government offices including private individuals pursuant to its mandate.
Task Force Agila, which is composed of officials of the DILG, Napolcom and PNP, will be headed by Atty. John R. Castriciones of the Office of the Undersecretary for Operations as Chairman, and Atty. Jesus V. Hinlo Jr. of the Office of the Undersecretary for Public Safety, as Vice-Chairman. They are both authorized to issue and sign written directives, documents and request letters to accomplish the purposes and functions of the group.
He said the task force was equally divided and grouped into two in a move to conduct separate inquiries and fast track investigation on the persons of interest assigned to each group. One group will be headed by the Chairman, and the second by the Vice Chairman.
Source: Philippine Information Agency