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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

PNP chief wants to adopt Colombia's anti-crime practices

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa said Monday that he gathered many ideas in his weeklong conference in Colombia, which could help the country in improving its war against illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa attended a five-day conference in Bogota, Colombia where regional issues and concerns on emerging terrorist threats, including narco-terrorism and transnational drug trafficking, were discussed.

He said among the ideas he would want to adopt were Colombia's wiretapping law, the forfeiture of properties of suspected drug lords and terrorists, and the creation of special search bloc whose main task is to hunt down drug lords.

Wiretapping

Dela Rosa said he will seek for President Rodrigo Duterte's assistance to speed up the passing of the wiretapping bill, which will allow government authorities to wiretap suspected drug lords and terrorists.

"I will talk to the President and request him to sign these bills, ang tawag nun, priority bills by the President. Sana mapabilis itong mga batas na ito," he said.

The said bill is now pending before the Senate public order and illegal drugs committee of Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief.

In the country's present wiretapping law, police may be granted to wiretap only cases related to terrorism.

"Hindi kasama 'yung drug trafficking at saka 'yung ibang malalaking heinous crimes. Ngayon gusto nating isama lahat para pag suspected ka na drug trafficker mag-request agad kami ng authority to conduct wiretapping on you," said Dela Rosa.

"'Yung sa kanilang (Colombia) wiretapping law, equipped 'yung kanilang kapulisan doon para mag-wiretap sa lahat ng mga suspected criminal group member, drug group member, suspected drug trafficker," he added.

Forfeiture of properties

The PNP chief said he is also looking on the possibility of having the properties of suspected drug lord immediately forfeited in favor of the government, as it could be the "fruits of the crime."

Dela Rosa cited the drug lords detained at the New Bilibid Prison who are continuously living like kings and queens inside the penitentiary due to their "investments", which came from their illegal activities.

"Kaya iyang mga drug lord na nakakulong sa Bilibid namamayagpag, sige pa rin sila ng negosyo dahil nakaimbak na sila sa malaking resources, nakapag-invest na sila," he said.

"Kung ma-forfeit again iyan wala, immobilize sila dahil wala na silang magamit," he added.

Special search bloc

In 1992, the Colombian police created a special search bloc to hunt down the infamous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar tagged as "The King of Cocaine."

A year later, Escobar was killed in a firefight with the members of the search bloc.

Dela Rosa said he is thinking of also creating a special search bloc to allow focus in going after drug lords.

He, however, refused to divulge other information on the matter as it may preempt their plan.

Dela Rosa said his visit to Colombia has been very productive and educational as it gave them a bigger picture on how to improve the government's intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

He said Colombia is among the good example for the Philippines particularly in addressing the country's problem on illegal drugs.

"Sa kanila kasi sa loob ang production, sa atin sa labas. Kapag naputol natin iyong supply, iyong demand siguradong bababa 'yan. Kahit na mag-umpog ng ulo yung mga adik na yan, wala nang makukuhang shabu, mapipilitang magbagong buhay ang mga iyan," he said.

He said he is hoping that they would be able to carry out the things they learned from the conference particularly in their war on drugs. (Sunnex)
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