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Resumption of the War on Drugs
« on: January 22, 2018, 04:18:03 PM »
By Michael O. Ligalig
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol - Police officials in Bohol and in Central Visayas have welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's plan of reinstalling the Philippine National Police (PNP) in their lead role in the drug war.

Senior Supt. Felipe R. Natividad, Bohol police director, said that as soon as the President and Camp Crame will give them a go-signal they will intensify again their anti-drug drive in Bohol.

"Actually in Bohol we did not stop on our efforts against the illegal drugs. We just changed the operational direction from Bohol PNP to PDEA Bohol, and we are supporting the PDEA," Natividad told media.

Agent Nicolas Gomez, PDEA-Bohol chief, said they welcome Duterte's decision.

"It has been the desire of PDEA that PNP will return in the fight against illegal drugs," Gomez said.

He also told Manila Times: "PDEA has repeatedly admitted that it is undermanned, underbudget and under equipped, hence, the need for other law enforcement agencies particularly the PNP."

In a rejoinder, Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal, intelligence division chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7), in a text message that they both welcome and respect the wisdom of the President "in bringing back the anti-illegal drugs campaign to the PNP."

"The PRO7 under the leadership of General Jose Mario Espino will not balk at the challenge," Cabal said, adding, "we will work closely with the community and other law enforcement agencies to further enhance our police operations taking into account the respect for human rights."

"PRO7 shares the vision of the President in eradicating this social malaise towards a better community, a stronger country," said Cabal.

Sidelined for over a month in the campaign against the prohibited substance, police have been placed in the backburner on government efforts of eliminating the country's drug problem, after the President had bowed to critics and put instead of the PDEA in the war's frontline. 

But the change of anti-drug policy has been blamed on the resurgence of crimes, prompting PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa to re-assess the situation. He has repeatedly said the police will take the role again as soon as issues on operational procedures would have been cleared legally.


Long before Duterte became president of the country, the Bohol Police Provincial Office, then led by Senior Supt. Dennis Palo Agustin who is now the Deputy Regional Director for Operations of PRO7, had initiated a bloody crusade against the war on illegal drugs from 2013 to 2016.

Illegal drugs have been blamed on the spike of heinous crimes here.

Hundreds of hardcore drug lords and pushers were eighter killed during legitimate police operations here or arrested during Agustin's leadership.

Per instruction by Governor Edgar M. Chatto who had vowed to make Bohol drug-free, Col. Agustin and his men had neutralized more than a thousand drug traders operating here for years.

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