NBI restores drug operations

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has resumed its operations against illegal drugs, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II confirmed Wednesday.

"Yes, [the operation is back] as of [Tuesday]," Aguirre said in a text message to reporters.

The NBI's anti-narcotics operations were halted for more than a month, following President Rodrigo Duterte's verbal orders.

Aguirre said he asked the President to allow the NBI to be part once again of the administration's all out war against drugs.

"I asked the President to allow the NBI to resume operation. Malaking kawalan ang NBI. You should remember that only last December, the NBI seized the biggest shabu haul in history of almost 900 kilos worth P6 billion in San Juan City," he said.

Aguirre said the task force against illegal drugs has also been restored.

On February 23, Aguirre issued a memorandum suspending the authority of the NBI to probe drug cases.

The initiative of the DOJ to stop conducting drug operations came following Duterte's statement that he will no longer entrust the government's war on drugs to the NBI and the Philippine National Police (PNP) after their officers' alleged involvement in the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo last October 18.

The PNP, who had also halted its "Oplan Tokhang" operations, announced on March 7 the relaunch of its war on drugs with a promise of "gentler, less bloody campaign." (SunStar Philippines)

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