As the Philippine National Police under Director Ronald dela Rosa digs deep into the war against illegal drugs and personalities involved, either users, pushers, dealers, financiers and the dragons in the trade, its mother agency is stomping another foot further.
PNP’s parent executive dapartment level agency is the Interior and Local Government headed by Secretary Ismael Sueno.
Sueno confirmed that his department has created a legal and investigatory task force to handle the investigation of all past and incumbent local public officials with suspected links to the illegal drugs trade.
The Secretary stated the main reason for creating “Agila” is their 101 percent support behind the President in the campaign against criminality and illegal drugs that would ensure a thorough probe against alleged narco execs.
Public officials publicly “indicted” and humiliated will automatically become “persons of interest” for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs either as protector, pusher, financer or user.
The Interior Department has given “Agila” the blanket authorization to demand and receive data about the persons of interest, coordinate with other government departments, bureaus, agencies and offices and make recommendations as a result of its findings.
Agila can also request assistance from any uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the DILG, Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), and other government offices including private individuals to pursue its objective.
Atty. John R. Castriciones of the Office of the Undersecretary for Operations heads Agila as the Chairman with Atty. Jesus V. Hinlo Jr. of the Office of the Undersecretary for Public Safety, as Vice-Chairman. Both officers bear the authority to issue and sign written directives, documents and request letters to accomplish the purposes and functions Agila.
The Task Force group into its fold officials of the DILG, National Police Commission, the PNP, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), and other government offices including private individuals
The organization would operate in two equal groups, one under the chairman and the second under the vice-chairman, in the conduct of separate inquiries and fast track investigation on the person of interest assigned each group.
Local executives have already grown hidden fears about the drug war, and become publicly humiliated by the President in his regular media press conference, even before the formation of Agila Task Force.
Meanwhile, in Legazpi City, the Sangguniang Panglungsod passed a resolution declaring three respected media practitioners as “personae non grata.”
The issue stemmed when broadcasterss Adam Claveria, Adrian Loterte and Plaridel Persia were singled out to have allegedly shared the news about the alleged involvement of Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal in drugs.
The broadcasters denied the allegations though.
Instead of confonting the issue head-on, the local council supportive of Rosal, passed the resolution authored by League of Barangay President Esmael Santillan.
The resolution prohibits the three media men from entering the City Hall and other city government offices, conduct interview of local officials and ask or receive benefits from the city government of Legazpi.