The Philippine National Police (PNP) is still hoping they will be returned to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, so much so, that they have conducted a training seminar in anticipation of the event, Rappler learned.
On Monday, November 6, the PNP's Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) held a "Drug Enforcement Training" for at least 40 of their personnel inside the police national headquarters in Camp Crame.
Their speaker was no less than the PNP's Deputy Director General for Operations Director Fernando Mendez Jr.
"Parang continuous education program para ma-enhance ang knowledge on anti-illegal drugs operations and investigations. Though hindi na sila involved sa anti-illegal drugs operations, dapat i-hone pa din skills nila para ready sila in case na i-direct silang mag-operate ulit," Mendez told Rappler in a text message.
(It's like a continuous education program to enhance their knowledge on anti-illegal drugs operations and investigations. Though they're no longer involved in anti-illegal drugs operations, we should hone their skills so that they are still ready in case they are directed to operate once more.)
PNP DEG head Chief Superintendent Joseph Adnol said the session on Monday was the first training session or "refresher course" ever since they were plucked from the front lines of the war on drugs.
He said the topics covered by the training included gathering evidence in drug operations, and gathering intelligence for case build-ups.
"Halimbawa, nag-conduct ng pagpa-assist sa PDEA...kailangan ulit tayo, at least alam na nila ang gawain," Adnol said. (For example, when the PDEA asks for help, at least we know what to do.)
The training comes a month after Duterte declared the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the "sole agency" in charge of his war on drugs.
Adnol's division, in particular, arguably has the most involvement as they were allowed to conduct intelligence efforts, but on the condition that they will immediately relay their findings to the PDEA. – Rappler.com
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.