Palace eyes stronger anti-drugs unit
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang supports the reorganization of government anti-narcotics units into one agency that will wield law enforcement and prosecution powers to solve the “lack of cooperation and coordination” uncovered by a recent bribery scandal, an official said Friday.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will issue a “strong policy statement” on the illegal drugs campaign very soon, Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde told reporters at the Palace.
“What’s going on now is lack of cooperation and coordination between [law] enforcement, prosecution, and even the judiciary,” Remonde said.
“We see the evolution of a possible agency wherein the law enforcement and prosecution is welded together so that we can avoid what happened between the PDEA [Philippine Druge Enforcement Agency] and the Department of Justice [DoJ],” he said.
The PDEA is the current law enforcement arm of the government’s anti-narcotics campaign, while prosecutors from the DoJ take the lead in filing and pursuing court cases.
Officials and agents of the PDEA have exposed alleged attempts to bribe them with between P3 million to P50 million to drop charges against three alleged high profile drug dealers who supply ecstasy and other drugs to upscale nightclubs.
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