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Calls for PDEA execs to take leave nixed

Posted by Abi Kwok on January 13, 2009

‘The President acted on her own prerogative’

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 10:47:00 01/13/2009

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has dismissed calls that its officials who have been linked to bribery in the controversial drug case involving scions from prominent families should also go on indefinite leave.

“I don’t think it is proper to react. If you remember, hindi naman kami ang nanawagan na sila ay mag-resign o mag-leave [we did not ask them to resign or take a leave]. We never insinuated. Yet here they are making a lot of noise,” said PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon in a phone interview Tuesday.

Carreon was reacting to calls by justice officials that PDEA agents that arrested Richard Brodett, Joseph Tecson, and Jorge Joseph should also go on leave after five prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) went on leave starting Monday to comply with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s order.

Carreon also dismissed allegations that PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago “influenced” the President in her decision to order those involved in the controversy to go on leave.

“In the first place, do you think meron kaming power para susugin si Presidente [we have the power to influence the President]? She is a very independent and intelligent woman. If she took action against the DOJ, it is her own prerogative,” Carreon said.

On Monday, Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor, Chief Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño, Senior State Prosecutor Phillip Kimpo, State Prosecutor Misael Ladaga, and Investigating Prosecutor John Resado went on indefinite leave.

But Carreon said Santiago was “ready to go anytime” should the President give him orders to go on leave as well. For now, however, PDEA will still continue to do its mandate, Carreon said.

He also appealed to the DOJ to continue to work with PDEA when it would come to solving drug-related cases.

“Kung kami lang, ang panawagan namin tuloy ang trabaho [If it’s up to us, our call would be for us to continue our work]. Hopefully they will still perform their duties regularly. Hangga’t maaari, trabaho pa rin pero kung sila nagiinitiate, wala tayong magagawa [If it’s possible, let’s confine ourselves to work but if they will initiate, there’s nothing we can do about it]. Pero pare-pareho naman tayo may pagkukulang, pagsikapin nating ayusin kaysa [But we all have our shortcomings, let’s strive to fix it] we will rub it in, it won’t help anyone,” Carreon said.


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