Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PDEA chief claims ‘hoodlums in robes’ hinder anti-drug drive campaign

Contributing editor

BUTUAN CITY—Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) Director General Dionisio Santiago said on Friday that “hoodlums in robes,” including corrupt fiscals and conniving policemen hinder the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign in the country.

Santiago and some PDEA officials were here to spearhead a memorandum of agreement with local people’s organizations and the burning of confiscated shabu and paraphernalias at the Hall of Justice.

Some 8.68 grams of shabu or metaphetamine hydrochloride and 1.2 kilos of dried marijuana leaves were burned last Friday witnessed by judges, public and private prosecutors, police officials, NGOs and PO leaders here, attended the said activity.

Santiago also warned BJMP officials of doing their own indulgence by being too lenient against the proliferation of shabu inside prisons.

The former army general said his declaration is “to awaken senses to erase mounting public perceptions that justice system in the country is corrupt.”

“You local judges and fiscals play vital role in the campaign against proliferation of illegal drugs likewise all five pillars of justice system of this country, a failure of one is a failure of all,” Santiago said.

Santiago added that PDEA will go after the so-called big fishes as well as the small fries, saying illegal drugs have been known to have come from rich and influential drug lords posing as respectable traders.

Santiago admits he sometimes have to “play plastic” to politicians, judges, prosecutors who are known to be involved in drug trafficking since he knows these people protect arrested drug lords by prolonging their arraignment, sometimes order the unreasonable release of drug pushers in exchange of grease money and others.