Philippine National Police

PNP, PDEA sign unified guidelines to avoid ‘misencounters’

Jairo Bolledo
PNP, PDEA sign unified guidelines to avoid ‘misencounters’

SIGNED. PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar and PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva signed the unified guidelines in conducting anti-illegal drug operations on Friday, July 9, 2021.

Philippine National Police

The two agencies at the vanguard of the government's drug war sign the guidelines 5 months after their deadly firefight in Quezon City

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Friday, July 9, signed an agreement that unified the guidelines of the police and PDEA agents in conducting anti-illegal drug operations. 

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar and PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva signed the guidelines, which aim to prevent future misencounter and miscoordination between the police forces and PDEA agents. 

The signing and formulation of the guidelines was triggered by the misencounter between the two government agencies in February, which led to the deaths of three law enforcers and one PDEA informant. 

On May 14, the two agencies leading the government’s drug war again almost figured in another misencounter in Quezon City. A day after the incident, the PNP and PDEA met to craft the said guidelines. 

According to Eleazar, the guidelines would strengthen the ties between the two agencies. 

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TIMELINE: PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’ and its aftermath

Ang unified coordination guidelines na ito ay isang mabisang instrumento upang lalong mapalakas ang aming ugnayan dahil ito ay magiging matibay na panuntunan ng PNP at PDEA hindi lamang ngayon kung hindi pati na rin sa mga darating pang taon,” Eleazar said during the press conference. 

(These unified coordination guidelines are effective instruments to further strengthen our ties because this would also serve as a firm guideline for the PNP and PDEA not just at present, but for a long time)

The crafting of the guidelines took two months because both parties studied each provision meticulously, according to PDEA chief Villanueva. He added that the new guidelines emphasize the importance of effective supervision of immediate supervisors. 

“We gave them the responsibility to supervise. All anti-drugs operations should really be supervised by the immediate commander kasi kapag hindi may tendency lumiko sa kaliwa o sa kanan ‘yan (because they have a tendency to operate in a different manner),” Villanueva said.

PNP, PDEA sign unified guidelines to avoid ‘misencounters’

Exactly three months after the February misencounter, on May 24, the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs conducted a hearing to probe the bloody shotout. During the hearing, Villanueva blamed the lapses by members of the PNP during the operations, which he said caused the firefight. 

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was tasked to conduct an independent investigation into the incident. However, the NBI has yet to finalize its probe. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.