THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Negros Island Region (NIR) will maintain a status quo while waiting for the executive order of President Rodrigo Duterte on the temporary suspension of all police anti-illegal drug operations.

PDEA-NIR Director Roselyn Borja said in a phone interview Tuesday that they will discuss the parameters of the recent pronouncement of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for all police units to cease and desist from operating anti-illegal drugs campaign in a command conference on Friday at their national headquarters.

"We will see how we will go about it," she added.

On Monday, the PNP has issued a memorandum order stating that anti-illegal drug units at all levels, including Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations Task Group, Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations Task Group, City Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations Task Group, and Municipal Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations Task Group, should stop from conducting drug busts and service of search warrants, among other operations, and that all drug-related operations will be temporarily conducted solely by the PDEA.

Walk-in surrenderees, however, should still be processed at the police stations, according to the PNP procedure and guidelines.

"We have not received an official memorandum from the higher office about the recent order," Borja said.

Borja, however, cited that under Section 84, Paragraph 2 of the Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, one of the powers and duties of PDEA is to initiate and undertake national campaign on drug abuse prevention and drug control programs.

It may enlist the assistance of any department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) in the anti illegal drug campaign which may include the use of their respective personnel, facilities, and resources for a more resolute detection and investigation of drug-related crimes and prosecution of the drug traffickers, it added.

Chief Superintendent Renato Gumban, acting regional director of Police Regional Office-NIR, has already ordered all anti-drug units and police chiefs to stop their anti-illegal drug operations and focus on the anti-criminality campaign.