The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Eastern Visayas and the Philippine Army (PA) will collaborate to contain the reported protection of the communist New People's Army (NPA) of illegal drugs activities aimed at beefing up their logistical resources.
Liza F. Baoy, PDEA-8 regional information officer said the agency and the Department of National Defense (DND) have received reports that the NPA is turning to the illegal drugs trade as a major source of funds to procure weapons and sustain their more than three-decade old uprising against the government.
"There were confirmed reports that leaders of some local drug syndicates have forged 'unholy alliances' with rebel groups for protection and self-preservation," Baoy said.
Alleged involvement of NPA rebels in the maintenance and cultivation of marijuana plantation sites in the countryside, particularly in Cordillera region, had been exposed since the early 1980s. In some cases, government troops raiding secret cannabis plantation have come under heavy fire from suspected NPA guerrillas guarding these sites.
"Illicit production, trafficking, sale, distribution and use of illegal drugs are potential dangers enough to unsettle our domestic stability and tranquility. There were several heinous crimes committed by perpetrators who are under the influence of illicit substances," Baoy added.
The findings, according to Baoy, are reasons enough for the PDEA and DND to launch a massive campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse. This is by way of providing PDEA with much-needed intelligence and manpower and logistical resources.
"The two bastions of law enforcement and peace likewise vowed to combine their forces and resources in order to keep the citizenry safe and free from drug-related harms," Baoy said.