MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) denied on Thursday, May 2 that it is investigating politicians and candidates allegedly accepting drug money.
“In regard to activities perceived as narco-politics like ‘yung idea nila na kinukuha sa droga ang pondo, walang gumagawa noon. Kami ang pinanghahawakan namin ay mga taong lumabag sa batas na laban sa illegal na droga (no one is looking into drug money used in campaigns. We are only mandated to enforce law on people involved in illegal drugs),” PDEA spokesman Derrick Carriedo said.
“Walang definition ang narco-politics (There is no definition of narco-politics) under Republic Act 9165. But what we submitted to lawmakers were names of people who were actually arrested by PDEA and other law enforcement agencies who violated RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act,” he added.
His statement comes a day after two local chapters of party-list candidates Uni-Mad (United Movement Against Drugs) and Akap-Bata urged PDEA to investigate Caloocan mayoral candidate Oscar Malapitan and running mate Antonio Almeda.
In a letter dated April 17, Uni-Mad asked PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac to have the anti-drug group “background check” the local UNA candidates in Caloocan City.
“I would also like to humbly request that you conduct a background investigation particularly on Caloocan’s mayoral candidate Oscar “Oca” Malapitan and his running mate,” Uni-Mad Caloocan coordinator Arturo Magbanua asked Cacdac.
Almeda, former chief of staff of Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Mikey Arroyo, was implicated in illegal drug trade in November after a sports utility vehicle assigned to Almeda was seized in a buy-bust operation in Makati. Nine kilos of shabu were found in the vehicle, which was being used by American disc jockey Brian Hill. Hill was accused of peddling drugs in elite parties.
The National Power Corporation (Napocor) loaned the vehicle to Almeda when Arroyo was still chairman of the house energy committee in 2008. It said Almeda requested for the vehicle when he conducted an ocular inspection of Napocor’s decommissioned power plants in Luzon and in Eastern Visayas.
Almeda said in media interviews that he had returned the vehicle to Napocor in 2009 but Napocor denied this.
PDEA: Don’t use us
Carreon refused to comment on so-called “narco-politics” in Caloocan City, stressing that the agency is apolitical. He added that PDEA did not receive such letter from Uni-Mad.
“Anong letter? Wala kaming natanggap. (What letter? We did not receive anything.) I don’t appreciate the fact that that organization is using us,” Carreon said.
“Ang assessment ko diyan, may mga nagbabangayang pulitiko and they want to make PDEA na sangkalan e (Politicians are quarreling and they want to redirect the blame.),” – Rappler.com
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