President Rodrigo Duterte’s order of giving the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) sole control over the country’s anti-drugs campaign comes as a big challenge to the PDEA – Central Visayas regional office here.
Acting PDEA-7 Director Ana Lynn Hernandez acknowledged this on Thursday, saying that to assume full control of the drug war is really a big task considering their limited manpower and resources.
Hernandez said that given this heavy task, they have to maximize their force multipliers or assets in to order to come up with a successful conduct of their operations against big-time drug lords, pushers, and users.
Cebu Provincial deputy chief for operations Superintendent Ryan Manongo, on the other hand, said they respect Duterte’s decision but that doesn’t mean they can no longer make any anti-drugs operation.
Manongo said the police can still arrest drug personalities caught in the act of selling or using and during checkpoints.
For his part, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said the city government is ready to give its all-out support to the PDEA-7.
“PDEA has been ordered to take the lead in the anti-drug campaign. For now at least, the CCPO can only take an intelligence gathering role. PDEA only has around 30 agents for the entire Region 7, but has always punched above its weight. The city government will support them in any way they need,” the mayor said. (with reports from Michelle Bugtai/PNA)