WITH President Duterte’s order to return the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the war on drugs, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao said it will begin the reorientation as well as background evaluation of the personnel who will be assigned in the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) to ensure that cops will not violate human rights.
Police Chief Inspector (PSI) Andrea Dela Cerna, PRO-Davao spokesperson, said during the AFP-PNP Press Corps media forum at The Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday that the PNP will again take part in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs but the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will still be the lead agency in terms of enforcement.
“PNP will be active in participating dito sa pagsugpo ng illegal drugs,” she said.
She added that PRO-Davao director Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan has already given his guidance to start the selection of the personnel to be included in the drug enforcement unit with thorough screening.
“We will try to make sure na they do not have derogatory record or they do not have connection when it comes to illegal drugs,” she said.
She also said they will conduct reorientation with the cops on the provisions of the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and the rule of law.
They will take refreshers on the operation procedures in conducting anti-illegal drug operations and apprehension of drug personalities.
“As much as possible lahat talaga will be reminded of human rights. Hindi tayo magva-violate as much as possible,” she said.
Dela Cerna, for his part, said that as much as possible they wanted the crackdown on illegal drugs to be bloodless but it is also the right of the police to protect themselves against imminent danger.
“Kaya tayo may Tokhang isang paraan para gawing bloodless ito kasi kami naman sa PNP we do not want this to be bloody ang nangayayri lang naman po of course sa pag conduct ng aming operation sa duty we have to protect ourselves,” Dela Cerna said.
Meanwhile, she said their internal cleansing is still ongoing to check if there are personnel who are involved in illegal drugs and they have already dismissed several personnel in Davao region who were guilty of using the illegal substance.