Bato in Colombia to present Philippine-style drug war
(The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa left Sunday night for Colombia to exchange notes on the two countries’ efforts to fight the illegal drug menace as well as terrorism.

Colombia has battled drug cartels that thrived from the production and export of cocaine mostly to the United States.

The country has suffered from deadly violence among the cartels, law enforcers and armed insurgent groups.

Washington has poured massive resources to assist Colombia in the war, which achieved a major victory with the arrest of Medellin cartel leader Pablo Escobar and his extradition to the US.

Dela Rosa’s Colombia visit might take a week, according to PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos.

Carlos said Dela Rosa would definitely present PNP’s achievement in its war against illegal drugs in the past two months, or since President Duterte assumed office on June 30.

He said the visit is also aimed at personally getting the idea and assessment on the successful anti-drug war launched by Colombia.

“The PNP chief will present what the Philippines has been doing in the war on drugs,” Carlos said. “Probably, we can learn how we can improve our ongoing fight against illegal drugs, based on the experience of Colombia or other countries conducting campaign against illegal drugs.”

Carlos said Dela Rosa’s presentation would include the Philippines’ anti-terrorism campaign and how the police organization is working to ensure the safety of the general public.

The PNP National Monitoring Center showed a total of 1,152 suspected pushers and users were killed, as they fought police raiders on operations from July 1 to Sept. 19.

The government’s anti-illegal drug war, through the PNP, has caught the attention of the international community, eliciting criticisms of human rights violations.

Witness protection

Meanwhile, Reynaldo Diaz, an alleged drug lord operating in Bicol, had been placed in the witness protection program of the Department of Justice, even before his arrest by police in Sorsogon last Sunday.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II confirmed this yesterday, as he revealed that Diaz, alias James Tan, has actually executed an affidavit, where he named high-ranking government officials and former police generals who supposedly benefited from his illegal drug operations. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Romina Cabrera, Christina Mendez, Edu Punay

 

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