Philippine Drug Agency chair Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac Jr.

MANILA-Amid mounting controversies in his agency, Philippine Drug Agency chair Undersecretary Arturo Cacdac Jr. managed to say the country’s anti-narcotics agency remains “committed and professional to its mandate.”

“Mayroon mangilan ngilan na nasangkot sa mga usapin, but my request to all our agents is to leave the past behind and look forward,” Cacdac told Manila Channel in an interview, adding the alleged issues faced by its former officials must not be the reason for the agency to slow down from its important job.

According to Cacdac, it would be “unhealthy” for them to focus on the controversies hounding the agency when in fact “marami pang problema na dapat asikasuhin.”

“ What I did first was to ensure that our agents are united, after that I visited our partner agencies like NBI, Coast Guard, Bureau of Custom, PPA, Phil. Army and soon with the PNP for an inter agency dialogue. We know that our capabilities are limited, the reason why we need inter-agency support in our job. This I made it clear to them, we cannot do it alone.”

With 1,800 PDEA personnel across the country, the job ahead is simply overwhelming, added Cacdac.

“This is the reason why I am also mandating our agents to focus on ‘high-value’ targets particularly on locating illicit drug factories and leave the ‘street level’ pushing to the police as this will consume our time particularly during court appearances.”

Meanwhile the PDEA head said that to show that their morale in the service is high, they are announcing for more recruits after promoting also more than 100 agents in their respective positions.

“I can attest on this because as I went over visiting the different regional offices, our agents remain happy and focused on their jobs. Also their number of seized drugs has increased.”