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PNP backs PDEA, VP Leni closed-door meet on druglord list

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MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday agreed with the position of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to disclose the contents of intelligence reports on high-value targets (HVTs) in the anti-illegal drugs campaign to Vice President and anti-drug czar Leni Robredo, only in a closed-door meeting.

“Remember, the PDEA is the head of the law enforcement cluster… whatever the head says, I will always respect it, being a member of the law enforcement… so yes, I adhere to what the director general says,” PNP officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa told reporters on Monday on the sidelines of the blessing of newly procured PNP equipment.

Gamboa said the ICAD has four clusters and the Vice President should focus on the drug war's aspect of advocacy and rehabilitation.

"Would it really matter who are on the list? Kaya nga palagi naming sinasabi, ako (What we always say, as for me,) I'm already suggesting (that) anyway the entire ICAD is composed of four different sub-committees. Why would the VP not take the advocacy and the rehabilitation? Pasok 'yung sinasabi niya (Here enters what she said), the illegal drugs are actually a health problem so probably that can fall in advocacy and rehabilitation," Gamboa stressed.

Gamboa further said the law enforcement and prosecution aspect of the government's anti-illegal drugs should be left to the PNP, PDEA as well as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Aquino said the HVTs list is considered classified information, which should not be disclosed to just anybody.

Sa pinaka simpleng explanation — kapag binigay namin ang listahan kay VP Robredo hindi na namin alam kung sino sino ang magkakaroon ng access sa listahan. That will compromise our negation operations (The simplest explanation is that if we give the list to VP Robredo, we won't know who would have access to the list),” Aquino said.

Aquino also cited the “need to know the rule” in law enforcement where not everybody is given access to sensitive and classified information.

“I myself has no copy of the list in my possession. What I am doing is I check it from time to time with my intelligence service and conduct workshops against these personalities,” Aquino said.

Aquino also clarified that this is not an act of resistance or disrespect to the Vice President but just a mere standard operation procedure on law enforcement operations.

“Imagine what will happen to the efforts of law enforcement if that list landed on the wrong hands?” Aquino said.

Classified information is not discussed during an inter-agency committee against illegal drugs (ICAD) meeting. (PNA)

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