To effectively synchronize anti-illegal drug efforts at the country’s premiere airport, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) shall head an inter-agency drug interdiction task group at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
This is contained in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed this morning by PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez Jr., with seven other government instrumentalities represented by the respective heads: Major General Jose Angel Honrado, General Manager, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA); Undersecretary Lucas Cauton, Administrator, Office for Transportation Security (OTS); Atty. Magtanggol Gatdula, Director, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI); Atty Claro Arellano, Prosecutor-General, National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice (NPS); Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon, Bureau of Customs (BOC); Commissioner Ricardo A. David Jr., Bureau of Immigration (BI); and Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome of the Philippine National Police through its Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Task Force Police (AIDSOTF), Aviation Security Group (ASG).
“This is the first step in meeting drug interdiction challenges in major entry points in the country, particularly at the NAIA. This pilot project expects to showcase mutual cooperation among the participating government agencies with interrelated mandates to safeguard NAIA from illegal drugs and promote national interest,” Gutierrez said.
The MOA, which created the NAIA Inter-agency Drug Interdiction Task Grop (NAIA-IADITG), requires all contracting parties to cooperate with each other and coordinate efforts to control the entry and exit of illegal drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals through the NAIA Complex by providing support to the inter-agency task group through detail of personnel, timely exchange dissemination of intelligence, and resource sharing.
Under the MOA, PDEA shall act as the Commander and Executive Officer of the NAIA-IADITG and to take the lead role in the over-all investigation and subsequent filing of drug cases in cooperation with member agencies.
Gutierrez expressed appreciation to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (US-DEA) and the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-West (JIATF-W) for its support to the project which covers assistance in the construction of the NAIA-IADITG Operations Center within the NAIA complex, procurement of appropriate equipment, and appropriate training for the NAIA-IADITG members. Evangeline DJ Almenario, Chief, Public Information Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency