Marcos appoints ex-SAF commander Lazo as new PDEA chief

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 21) — Retired Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) commander Moro Virgilio Lazo was appointed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the new Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief.

Office of the Press Secretary officer-in-charge Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil confirmed the appointment on Thursday night.

Lazo earlier served as the director of the police’s elite force SAF and chief of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office.

He was also a member of the Presidential Security Group under former president Fidel V. Ramos.

Lazo will succeed Wilkins Villanueva as director general of the PDEA, the government’s lead agency in the war against drugs.

In a social media post, Villanueva said he is grateful as he closes his two-year stint as PDEA chief.

“It is with profound gratitude that I close my two decades of professional service to God and country in the field of drug law enforcement,” he stated.

“I shall leave behind a legacy of Professional, Dynamic, Excellence-Driven and Accountable drug law enforcers while I continue to support the national anti-drug campaign in my private capacity,” Villanueva added.