MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday ordered the force’s Maritime Group to strengthen coordination and interoperability with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to fight illegal drug activities within the country’s territorial waters.
In a statement, Eleazar said this is to curb activities of international and local syndicates where illegal drugs are being unloaded in international waters and are later picked up by their local contacts and eventually smuggled into the country.
“In our relentless campaign against illegal drugs as ordered by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, I have already directed our Maritime Group to strengthen the coordination and interoperability with the Philippine Coast Guard to shield our territorial waters and coastlines from smuggling of illegal drugs into the country. Our airports and seaports are under strict surveillance due to the strengthened relationship with our Bureau of Customs, PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), and other government agencies through our whole-of-government approach to illegal drugs so we are focusing on our territorial waters,” he said.
This came following last week’s neutralization of 11 big-time drug traffickers and the recovery of around PHP5.5 billion worth of shabu in a series of operations in Zambales, Bataan, and Cavite — which is so far the biggest drug haul in the country this year.
Eleazar, meanwhile, emphasized the need for strong coordination and good working relationship with other law enforcement agencies to finally end the threat of illegal drugs in the country.
“Inaasahan ko din ang patuloy na pagbabantay ng ating mga chiefs of police at ang pagpalalakas ng ugnayan ng PNP sa mga coastal communities bilang pakikiisa sa adhikain ng ating Pangulo na tuluyan nang tapusin ang banta ng iligal na droga sa ating bansa (I also look forward to the continued vigilance of our chiefs of police and the strengthening of the PNP’s relationship with coastal communities in solidarity with our President’s aspiration to finally end the threat of illegal drugs in our country),” he said. (PNA)