MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will file charges against former and incumbent officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for allegedly violating Section 4 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The charges, PDEA said, stemmed from the illegal importation of more than 600-kilograms of shabu which BOC failed to intercept.
On the program ‘Get it Straight with Daniel Razon’, NCR PDEA Director Wilkins Villanueva said they will file charges against the personalities involved in the entry of illegal drugs.
These include former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and former Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella.
“The moment, they were able to open a crate of drugs, they should have stopped and called the PDEA because it’s illegal drugs. They no longer have to validate the other contents of the crate because they already have seen illegal drugs,” Villanueva said.
Former Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella, on the other hand, said he is ready to face the charges to be filed against him.
Estrella stands firm that he has no involvement in illegal drug trade, and wonders why a partner agency against illegal drugs are targeting them instead of going after those responsible for bringing illegal drugs in the country.
Former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has yet to respond to the filing of charges against him.
Meanwhile, the amount of 600-kilograms of shabu intercepted in Valenzuela is not more than P6-billion.
Villanueva said the illegal drugs were only worth P3.05-billion based on their computation of P5-million per kilogram.
The NCR PDEA Director claims the BOC has just jacked up the amount.
Villanueva further notes that the percentage of those who stopped using illegal drugs has not even reached one percent of the more than one million individuals who surrendered under the anti-drugs campaign of the government.
He said the facilities built to rehabilitate those who surrendered are not effective.
Villanueva said PDEA was also able to observe that there had been no changes in the prices of illegal drugs.
This means, Villanueva notes, many are using illicit drugs despite the continuous operations against it.
“Kasi pag kumonti ang gagamit bababa ang presyo, kasi kakaunti ang gagamit magiging ordinary na eh pero habang dumadami ang gagamit tataas ng tataas yan high ang demand eh,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva also explained that the previous administration did not prioritize the country’s problem on illegal drugs.
“When did the previous administration mentioned illegal drugs in their SONA? As far as I can remember, former Pres. Gloria Arroyo mentioned it sometime in 2003 to have the campaign against illegal drugs reach the barangay level. That’s only once before President Duterte. Imagine for so many years, the problem on illegal drugs was no mentioned in SONA,” Villanueva added.
Among PDEA’ suggestions are for the government to also focus on making effective its rehabilitation of surrenderees under the Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign. The agency said campaign would become successful if those who surrendered will be fully rehabilitated. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News and Rescue