Boosting its capabilities to perform anti-illegal drug operations, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) acquired on January 18, 2018 over P90.4 million worth of equipment, gadgets, and vehicles.
Among the gadgets purchased by the agency were 20 remote-controlled aircrafts (drones) and 165 handheld radios, which amounted to P10,270,000. These devices will be used in their efforts to improve monitoring activities.
PDEA also obtained 100 body cameras worth P2,900,000. Additionally, PDEA regional offices received a total of 23 reloading machines and 753 tactical helmets with a combined cost of P25,714,995.
With these equipment upgrades, PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino raised the quota for the minimum number of drug operations of the regional offices. From 40 anti-illegal drug operations, the regional offices are now expected to carry out 60 operations.
Non-complying regional directors will be dismissed if they cannot give a valid reason for their shortfall.
In addition to that, Aquino also said that members of the media may join actual drug operations but at their own risk. He also noted that media representatives who wish to cover PDEA drug operations will have to be equipped with body cameras “whether they like it or not”.
Aquino stressed that members of the media are exposed to occupational hazards in drug operations too, much like the PDEA agents. He cited as an example the Marawi siege incident where the military, the police, and the press were asked to render official duties.
via Manila Bulletin / Chito Chavez