The Daily Manila Shimbun


Palace wants PDEA chief to submit memo over illegal drug trade in Bilibid

September 16, 2019

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency ( PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino should submit a written memorandum to Malacanang on the alleged drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prisons, a Palace official said on Monday.

This was despite Aquino's claim that he informed President Rodrigo Duterte in one of their talks about what PDEA and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency ( NICA) had intercepted when they still had an office at NBP prior to their eviction during the stint of former Bureau of Corrections and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa in BuCor.

"Has Mr. Aquino submitted the memorandum to the President relative to that?" said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press briefing.

"If he has, then we will find out what action the President did," he added.

In an interview by DZBB on Sunday, Aquino said he had a one-on-one talk with Duterte regarding what they have discovered at NBP.

"From the start, I was already giving statement of all the bad things happening in BuCor. In fact, we used to have an office there. NICA was helping us to intercept the illegal conversations," Aquino said.

He said they had installed intelligence equipment at NBP.

However, Aquino said, "eventually, we were evicted there at BuCor."

Their eviction took place when Dela Rosa was still BuCor chief, he said.

He said BuCor officials apparently saw PDEA as "villain" instead of an ally.

When Nicanor Faeldon succeeded Dela Rosa, the PDEA chief said they also suggested to conduct drug tests to all the inmates, except for those in the minimum security compound.

But it did not materialize as Aquino admitted there was a "bad blood" between him and Faeldon.

"We had many misunderstanding so I already gave up," he said.

When Faeldon was still the head of the Bureau of Customs, PDEA blamed the Customs for the P6.4-billion worth of shabu shipment that slipped into the country in May 2017. 

Due to the controversy, Duterte removed Faeldon at BOC and appointed him at the Office of Civil Defense and later transferred him to BuCor. Celerina Monte/DMS