Battalion-sized AFP task force to join PDEA against illegal drugs

  • AFP will form a battalion-sized task force to join PDEA in anti-narcotics operations
  • President Duterte ordered AFP to help PDEA in the war against drugs
  • The AFP is still waiting for an executive order to formalize its role in the government’s illegal drugs campaign

Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) chief Gen. Eduardo Año said the military is ready to operate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the government’s fight against illegal drugs. He, however, clarified that not the entire AFP will be conducting anti-narcotics operation.

According to ABS-CBN, the AFP will form a battalion-sized task force that will join PDEA; now the lead agency tasked to go after drug suspects after President Rodrigo Duterte dismantled the Anti-illegal Drugs Units on the Philippine National Police which he tagged as “corrupt to the core.”

President Duterte had asked the AFP to support PDEA in its anti-narcotics operations, but the military’s supporting role in the anti-illegal drugs campaign has yet to be formalized.

Gen. Año said they are still waiting for an executive order (EO) formally tasking the AFP to support PDEA, but even without the EO, they are ready to “start actually doing operations if there is a target package.”   He then explained the role of the AFP task force that will be created.

“We’ll not be involved in running after street pushers, the Armed Forces will help PDEA in running after high-level drug syndicates,” the AFP chief said.

“There will be an AFP task force that will work with PDEA, not the whole AFP will be conducting anti-drug operations because our mandate is still to run after the internal threats to national security,” he added.