Money, properties seized by PDEA should be given to PDEA – Aquino

Rambo Talabong
Money, properties seized by PDEA should be given to PDEA – Aquino
'Seized operations ng PDEA 'yan. Bakit 'di kami ang may karapatan para gamitin 'yun, 'yung pera?' asks PDEA chief Aaron Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – If he can have his way, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino wants all the cash and the properties they seize be given to their agency.

Ang gusto ko, ang lahat ng seizure namin, ‘yung mga pera, ‘yung mga properties, ‘yung mga vehicles sana, ibigay na lang sa PDEA for our use,” Aquino told Rappler in an interview Thursday, January 10.

(What I want is that from all our seizures – the money, the properties, the vehicles, I hope these are given to the PDEA for our use.)

Aquino talked about his “wish” while explaining one of PDEA’s thrusts in 2018: strengthening financial investigations against drug lords. (Rappler Talk: PDEA on leading the drug war without the PNP)

‘Yung pera ituturnover siguro sa treasury, pero seized operations ng PDEA ‘yan bakit ‘di kami ang may karapatan para gamitin ‘yun, ‘yung pera? (The money gets sent to the treasury perhaps, but they were seized during PDEA operations, why don’t we have the right to use them?)” Aquino added.

As for the equipment and properties, he explained that these are better off used by a law enforcement agency, than just being stored unused and left to degrade.

The PDEA chief added that their agents needed cars for their operations. He also wanted to convert into their additional headquarters the houses and buildings they seize from drug lords.

Aquino said he wanted to push this practice especially because PDEA needed more money. Of the P2.3 billion he asked for Congress for 2018, only P1.2 billion made it to the final signing.

He said he has already ordered their lawyers to find out how they can legally retain the seized cash, equipment, and property, hoping that the Bureau of Treasury and Congress would allow them.

 He assured the public that should they be allowed to keep the seized money and properties, they will use these with prudence. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.