New PDEA head ready for 'massive' anti-drugs ops

By Chito Chavez

Newly-appointed Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Wilkins Villanueva said on May 27, Wednesday, that the agency’s handling of its illegal drug operations will be “professional’’ and “massive.’’

Wilkins Villanueva ((Photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem via PNA / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Wilkins Villanueva ((Photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem via PNA / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In neutralizing drug syndicates, Villanueva said that PDEA will get much deeper beginning from the community down to the barangays.

Explaining what he meant by “massive,’’ Villanueva said the agency will focus on the source of illegal drugs per region with proper coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Villanueva who previously served as PDEA Regional Director in Northern Mindanao and National Capital Region took pride in his sterling record being the longest serving anti-narcotics personnel in the PNP and PDEA.

"Lahat ng pinuntahan ko walang patayan (There were no deaths in all my assigned posts), except for the big time laboratory in Davao City where there five Chinese drug lords who are chemists in the laboratory, na doon nagkabarilan kami doon (where we had a shootout there),’’ he added.

Villanueva will report at the PDEA Headquarters on June 1, Monday, and is set to meet with PNP chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa to discuss the possible adjustments in the country’s drug campaign and review the list of the suspected drug personalities in the country.

Earlier, Villanueva said the protection of the PDEA will be a prime priority with the COVID-19 crisis still haunting the country as PDEA is severely undermanned. He also noted that PDEA has less than 2,000 personnel with half performing administrative tasks.

Villanueva added that PDEA agents would undergo training in relation to the new protocols that the agency will implement.