The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) issued Friday, July 9, their unified coordination guidelines in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations to prevent incidents of misencounter.
In a ceremony held at Camp Crame in Quezon City, PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva and PNP Chief, Pol. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar signed a joint memorandum circular (MC) that provides a “clear-cut coordination mechanism” between the two organizations prior to the conduct of planned anti-drug operations.
“The circular should eliminate any misunderstanding, miscommunication and misencounter between drug law enforcement units that impedes the drug supply reduction efforts of the government’s anti-drug campaign,” Villanueva said.
“Only PNP Drug Enforcement Group-Special Operations Units (PDEG-SOUs) and Drug Enforcement Units (DEUs) of Regional, District, Provincial, City, Municipal, and Police Stations are authorized to conduct anti-illegal drug operations and coordinate with PDEA,’’ he said.
Villanueva noted that other operating units are not allowed to conduct anti-drug operations on their own unless jointly done with PDEG and/or the concerned DEUs that will lead and initiate coordination with PDEA.
The PDEA chief stressed that a “One Jurisdiction, One Operation” rule shall be observed where “there shall only be one anti-drug operation in a particular area at a particular time covering areas of jurisdiction of PNP stations.’’
In instances that the operating unit must move to another area not mentioned in the certificate of coordination (COC), a new pre-operation report and coordination form must be submitted to PDEA, Villanueva noted.
When personal coordination cannot be made, online submission of the requirements for application in the issuance of COC is permitted, he said.
In case that two or more operating units simultaneously coordinate with PDEA concerning the same area of jurisdiction, an order of priority shall be observed, he added.
However, operating units may come to an agreement not to observe the order of priority; the prime importance will always be given to an operation where the subject target is of greater value.
PDEA will also be provided with an official list of PNP drug enforcement operatives, including their designation and contact number of their team leader, for purposes of reference and verification prior to the issuance of COC and monitoring of reportorial requirements.
Villanueva said that non-compliance with the provisions of the circular will not prejudice the evidentiary value of the seized drug evidence and/or the case but the personnel liable shall be dealt with administratively or criminally pursuant to existing civil service rules and the applicable laws and regulations.
“From this day forward, the lines of communication among drug law operating units are clearer. All coordination before the conduct of all anti-drug operations will be put into writing and in strict accordance with the issued unified guidelines,” Villanueva said.