PNP eyes joint probe with PDEA on 'cocaine user' presidential bet

(File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it will coordinate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for a joint investigation into the claims of President Rodrigo Duterte that a presidential candidate is using cocaine.

"We are under PDEA in the campaign against illegal drugs. This is why our efforts are always coordinated with PDEA. I have been with PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva and we are pioneers of PDEA so, through coordination, we will know their direction in the campaign against illegal drugs," PNP chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos, said in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

Carlos, however, earlier ordered the police force's Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) to obtain additional information on that matter.

“I leave it up to the PDEG as police units are tasked to do our operation against illegal drugs. So they can confer with the IG (Intelligence Group) if they need intelligence information. We can ask the DI (Directorate for Intelligence), (they) can approach the other agencies, approach Malacanang to be able to get this information. At the end of the day, the information is coming from the President and we have to validate this. After validation, we can determine whether this can be the subject of an operation," he added.

Duterte on Nov. 18, without naming names, said one of the candidates for president is a cocaine user.

The President did not divulge the identity of the presidential hopeful but dropped hints that the latter is a male with a "very weak" character and comes from a wealthy family with a prominent patriarch.

“There is a manner of managing information at a certain level. The moment it comes from the Commander in Chief (Duterte), that's already presidential information. We cannot just divulge that. We have to clear with the proper authorities in divulging or making public this kind of information. I will leave it up to the PDEG. We will let you know after we have taken the necessary steps on this matter," he added. (PNA)



Source: Business Diary Philippines

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