By Chito Chavez
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Friday celebrated its 17th anniversary with distinguished officials and guests in attendance in simple rites in Quezon City.
“Today is an exciting day, and as we celebrate the 17th anniversary of PDEA as the lead agency in the national campaign against illegal drugs, PDEA remains firm in building a drug-cleared country,” said PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino, citing the anniversary theme.
“As we celebrate the accomplishments of the past 17 years, we also look towards ways to continue to enhance our capabilities in ridding our country of illegal drugs and their purveyors,” he added.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, House Speaker of the 18th Congress, was guest of honor.
Among the highlights of the event was the granting of monetary rewards amounting to P11,224,980 to 18 confidential informants, with aliases “Let-Let”, “Bobords”, “Boy”, “Vin”, “Baco”, “Ed”, “Sam Milby”, “Daine”, “Zaido”, “Blacky”, “Albobu”, “Teddy Bear”, “Tikboy”, “Batuzai”, “Gawed”, “Cardo I”, “Cardo II”, and “Apog” through Operation: Private Eye.
Operation: Private Eye is an incentive and reward scheme that encourages private citizens to report suspected illegal drug activities happening in their neighborhood to PDEA.
Informant, “Apog” received a P2-million reward.
The information he provided resulted in the confiscation of 82.29 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, and the arrest of one drug personality in a buy-bust operation along Apitong Street, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa on March 19, 2019.
“Cardo 1” also received a P2-million cash award after providing information that led to the seizure of 274 kilograms of shabu and the death of two drug personalities during an entrapment operation in Barangay Amaya 1, Tanza, Cavite on February 3, 2019.
Another informant named “Cardo 2” was rewarded with P2 million after he supplied information which resulted in the dismantling of a large-scale clandestine shabu laboratory and the seizure of 91.68 kilograms of shabu and 2.45 liters of liquid shabu, and the arrest of five drug personalities during an authorized search in Tower 2, Oceanaire Luxurious Residences, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay city on September 25, 2018.
Cash rewards amounting to P8,669,933.75 were likewise awarded to PDEA Regional Offices III, IV-A, XI, XII, and NCR, and PDEA Intelligence and Investigation Service (IIS) under Operation: “Lawmen”, an incentive program for law enforcers or members of the anti-illegal drug units/teams or task forces, including the support unit/s after the conduct of meritorious anti-drug operations.
As a matter of tradition done every year, PDEA honored its outstanding personnel who have demonstrated exceptional service over and above the call of duty. PDEA also recognized its partner-agencies for their unwavering support to the government’s fight against the drug menace.
The anniversary program also featured an audio-visual presentation which showcased the PDEA Director General’s Executive Report, summarizing the anti-drug accomplishments from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
The AVP presented the agency’s three-pronged strategy that is Supply Reduction, Demand Reduction, and Harm Reduction to win the war against illegal drugs. PDEA continues to redefine these strategies by confronting each and every aspect of the drug problem.
Knowing fully well that illegal drug problem remained as a multi-faceted menace, PDEA made sure that integrated and holistic treatments were widely done to make positive impact on the lives of the Filipino citizenry, most especially those involved in drug dependency and illegal drug activities.
“PDEA never grows tired in freeing every barangay from illegal drugs, and turning citizens to become resistant to drug abuse. Reaching 17 years with significant accomplishments despite all odds and challenges is our humble victory in the war against illegal drugs,” the PDEA chief concluded.