Still no replacements for Eastern Police District’s anti-drug unit
Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It has been more than a month since all 15 officers of the District Drug Enforcement Unit (DDEU) of the Eastern Police District (EPD) were removed, but there has been no word on their replacement, an official said yesterday.

Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, called for the immediate activation of the EPD’s anti-drug unit as he expressed fears that the government’s war on drugs would be greatly affected.

Eleazar yesterday called the attention of EPD director Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan, who said he is still selecting the “best and brightest” official to lead the unit.

The DDEU’s officers were relieved after one of them, Cpl. Marlo Quibete, was arrested on March 5 for allegedly extorting money from a woman whose relative was arrested during an anti-drug operation.

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde also relieved then EPD director Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba for command responsibility. Tambungan replaced Balba.

“He (Tambungan) is very careful in selecting the police official to head the DDEU, saying that some officers he had in mind are shying away from the job because of the risk,” Eleazar said.

“But he must fill up the DDEU unit as it is in the forefront in our effort to curb illegal drugs in eastern Metro Manila,” he added.

Tambungan is currently relying on the anti-drug units of the Marikina, Mandaluyong, Pasig and San Juan police to fight the illegal drug trade, but Eleazar said they are not enough.

“The DDEU had a big role in our anti-drug campaign and Tambungan must see to it that its officers and members passed his rigid background investigation,” Eleazar said.

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