DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – Incoming President Rodrigo R. Duterte hit the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency by calling it a “useless” entity for failing to crack down on the illegal drug trade.
Duterte said the agency is not doing anything to hunt down drug syndicates, particularly in Metro Manila where the police themselves are allegedly involved in drugs.
“The PDEA is a useless entity now, and Manila, maraming police who are into drugs, sigurado ako nyan, matagal naming pinag-aralan nyan. Months before, we started out investigation,” he said in an interview on Monday evening.
He said he has not decided yet on who will he assign to head the agency but has in mind a military official.
He also wanted someone from the military to head the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Corrections, and Department of National Defense.
“Military man would go to immigration. It’s a very sensitive agency and I want somebody there to be very strict, as in strict,” he said,
Known for his hardline stance against drugs and criminality, Duterte warned two or three generals in the Philippine National Police who he believed are supporting illegal drug operations, to retire from work.
“Two or three generals dyan pag-sinabi ko naman sa inyo. May panahon pa kayo na mag-retire kayo, may makukuha pa kayo aside from what you are getting from the drug syndicates or you yourselves are operating it. Madugo itong sa police,” he said.
He said that there are police generals who do not accept money from drugs because they know “na mainit masyado yan” but he issued the same warning to officials who receive money from gambling.
“Wag silang magalit. Kung mag-react sila I will be forced to spit it off (their names) in public,” he said.
He said police who live in expensive houses and cars will be subject to lifestyle check.
“Yung mga police, I know you’ve been doing it for long. If you have saved some amount. I may be forgiving at times basta wag yang droga. I’ll finish you off. You won’t get away. Leave now,” he said in mixed Tagalog and English.
Aside from PDEA, he also criticized the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, and Land Transportation Office that he might abolish for being allegedly corrupt.
“The most corrupt, I’m sorry to say pero mukhang totoo naman talaga (but it looks true) but for those who really are doing the duty in good faith, I’m really sorry. Pero sabihin ko sa inyo sa pinaka-corrupt na agency ang BIR, Customs, and LTO,” he said. “Wala tagala akong nakita (I cannot find anyone to find the agencies).” [Antonio L Coli