CAGAYAN de Oro City–Newly-appointed Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Wilkins Villanueva on Wednesday said the pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) is posing a “great challenge” in his campaign against illegal drugs.
Villanueva said the PDEA under him will implement new stragety on how to effectively conduct its anti-illegal drugs operations without violating the guidelines on Covid-19.
“We have to see-to-it that we dont violate the laws on social distancing and other protocols on Covid-19 during the conduct of our operations,” said Villanueva.
As the new PDEA head, he said he will focus on identifying the source of illegal drugs to eventually cut the supply of illegal drugs and validate the drug-clearing programs of every barangay.
Villanueva, the outgoing regional director of PDEA in Region 10, said he will also lobby for the passage of Magna Carta for PDEA agents to boost the moral and welfare of his personnel.
“I still have 700 days left before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends,” said Villanueva as he warned people involved in illegal drugs to stop.
In Region 10, Villanueva said that only 43-percent of barangays were drug-affected. Northern Mindanao or, Region 10 had 2,022 barangays.
He said the Northern Mindanao had the highest conviction rate in the country in terms of illegal drugs.
He attributed the highest conviction rating to the excellent collaboration among the members of the five pillars: the community, law enforcement, prosecution, justice and the penitentiary.
Villanueva thanked the local government units (LGUs), barangay officials and the PDEA agents for the remarkable achievements of PDEA-Region 10. “Ang gagaling ng mga ahente ko,” he said.