Taguig City suspends ties with PDEA pending drug bust probe

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 9) — Taguig City has halted support and coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) after an anti-illegal drug operation conducted early this week led to the apprehension of law enforcers themselves.

“The City is temporarily suspending its support to and coordination with PDEA pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. The City insists that those involved should be held accountable,” the local government unit (LGU) said in a statement on Friday.

It also demanded that the building it turned over to PDEA Southern District Office (PDEA SDO) in 2018 be returned so that it can be repurposed into something that is worthy of public use.

On Dec. 6, the National Capital Region Police Office said PDEA SDO chief Enrique Lucero, PDEA agents Anthony Alabastro and Jaireh Llaguno, and driver Mark Wallo were nabbed at their headquarters late Tuesday after a police officer posed as a buyer.

Items seized were three sachets containing white crystalline substances with an estimated Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) value of ₱680,000; one plastic of suspected shabu with DDB value of ₱8.5 million; and digital weighing scales.

PDEA vowed to conduct an internal investigation “to get to the bottom of the case.” It also said it is enhancing counter-intelligence efforts to check its ranks.

The Taguig City LGU said it considers the incident “a betrayal of the highest order.”

“The criminal participation of drug enforcers in illicit drug activities, using facilities provided by the City, is repugnant and inexcusable,” the city government said.

It noted coordination will only resume once the PDEA SDO “has shown serious efforts to cleanse its ranks of scalawags.”

“The City is dead serious about the fight against illegal drugs. It demands the same level of commitment from PDEA,” it added.