Lacson backs appointment of Villanueva as PDEA chief

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020   •   753

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday lauded the appointment of Wilkins Villanueva as the new director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In a statement, Lacson described Villanueva as a “good and professional officer who is fit for the job,” and noted his “long career in drug enforcement.”

“The President couldn’t have appointed a more qualified head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, having served our country for nearly 20 years with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA,” he said.

Lacson, a former national police chief, expressed confidence that Villanueva can handle his task of going after drug suspects amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

“With the challenge of going after drug personalities amid the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he indeed has his work cut out for him,” he said.

“I look forward to working with him, being the Senate Finance Subcommittee Chair and Sponsor of the PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) budgets, among others,” he added.

Villanueva will take over the post previously held by Aaron Aquino, who was assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to lead the Clark International Airport.

Prior to his designation to PDEA’s top post, Villanueva led the PDEA Northern Mindanao.

Palace on possible Lacson-Sotto tandem in 2022: ‘We wish them the very best’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday welcomed the possible tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III as presidential and vice presidential bets in the 2022 elections.

“We wish them the very best because in a democracy kinakailangang may pagpipilian ang taumbayan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.

Roque issued the statement after Sotto said he and Lacson may announce their political plans for 2022 on August 5.

Lacson and Sotto have been touring across Luzon to meet with various local officials and sectors for their proposed programs.

The two senators said they have received “very encouraging” response to their proposals during their consultation meetings.

Lacson, Sotto to Pacquiao: Make sure corruption exposés backed by ‘solid evidence’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2021

Senator Manny Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III have advised Senator Manny Pacquiao to ensure that he has “solid evidence” to support his exposes on the alleged corruption in the government.

In a radio interview on Friday, Lacson said he and Sotto met with Pacquiao at the Office of the Senate President on Thursday after the latter sought an audience with them amid the word war between the senator and President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Our advice to him was to make sure the evidence he has is substantial, because if only one item in his expose turns out to be lacking or baseless, that is what the public will remember,” Lacson said.

He said he told Pacquiao to check his evidence first as he might be fed with fake documents and that it may backfire.

Lacson, however, said that Pacquiao should not be underestimated as he has shown signs he is doing his research.

Pacquiao recently accepted the challenge from Duterte to cite specific instances of corruption, after the boxing champ-turned-senator criticized corruption in the Duterte administration.

Lacson expressed hope that the word war between Pacquiao and President Duterte will not become personal.

“It is sad to see two allies and friends have this word war in public. I hope they can stick to the issues and not make their word war become personal,” he said.

Duterte, in his recent public speeches, has repeatedly slammed Pacquiao over the latter’s comments about the government’s position on the West Philippine Sea dispute with China and alleged corruption under his watch.

PNP, PDEA to finalize unified guidelines for drug operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) are set to release the unified guidelines for drug operations by the end of June.

PNP Chief P.Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the unified guidelines aim to avoid misencounter between the two agencies  and boost efficiency of police operations.

“Once these unified operating guidelines are finalized and released to our men on the ground, I need the efficient supervision by our ground commanders to ensure that the rules are strictly followed by our operatives,” he said in a statement.

“This way, our law enforcement agencies would be more effective and efficient in carrying out their operations toward the eventual eradication of the country’s illegal drug trade,” he added.

As previously discussed by the PNP and PDEA, not conducting their respective operations on the same date and time will also be included in the guidelines.

There should also be close coordination between the two agencies before conducting any operations.

Last February, three anti-drug operatives were killed while three were injured when the Quezon City Police Department and PDEA had a misencounter at a fastfood chain in Quezon City. PNP personnel and PDEA agents almost had a similar misencounter again in May. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)



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