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Negros Oriental PNP prepare return to drug war

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines —  The Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NORPPO) is now preparing for its eventual return to the government's anti-illegal drug campaign.

NORPPO acting Director Senior Superintendent Edwin Portento on Tuesday, however, said his command has yet to receive the operational guidelines from the Philippine National Police central headquarters based in Camp Crame, Quezon City.  He believed that a directive will be on its way soon.

President Rodrigo Duterte had officially signed a memorandum order for the PNP to resume its operations against illegal drugs, while the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) remains the lead agency.

Portento welcomed the latest development considering that PDEA in Negros Oriental is critically undermanned with only six personnel covering the entire province.

After the PNP was pulled out of the anti-drugs drive, the PDEA became the lead agency in addressing the menace but, while the killings had dropped, there was a noted resurgence in the illegal narcotics trade.

Portento explained that they were coordinating with the PDEA by providing intelligence and other information on drug suspects. "We are ready with the task, after all, we have the information."  (FREEMAN)

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