Just waiting for Duterte’s order: SAF prepared to go after drug lords
The Special Action Force (SAF) on Sunday welcomed a proposal to tap the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to go after the high-value traffickers in the country.
SAF spokesperson, Capt. Jonalyn Malnat made the reaction after Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief of directorial staff, proposed that SAF should be included in anti-drug campaign particularly against big-time drug lords.
“We belong to the PNP, we are one family so we are ready to help,” Malnat said in a media interview on Sunday.
Malnat said the kind of discipline and integrity that each SAF commando is known for is indeed a big advantage in the campaign against illegal drugs.
She said though SAF commandos have been tapped in anti-illegal drug operations in the past, their assistance was merely an on-call basis.
The spokesperson said there is no existing protocol that SAF is embedded to the PNP-Drug Enforcement Group, the main anti-illegal drugs unit of the police organization.
She said being embedded in a police unit was doable since a company of SAF commandos, for instance, has been helping the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) in running after rogue cops.
“If there is an order for the SAF to actively help in the campaign against illegal drug lords, then we will do it because ending the illegal drugs operations in the country is what President Duterte wants (to achieve),” Malnat said.
Eleazar earlier said since SAF is known for excellent tactical offensives, it could be involved in planning the raids and implementation of search warrants on known lairs of drug lords.
“Drug lords will certainly fight it out because what they are protecting is a multibillion industry, this is where SAF would play a key role in showing them that SAF is not something that they could mess with,” Eleazar said in
He said the discipline and warrior mentality of SAF members would make them a nightmare for drug lords.
The former chief of the National Capital Region Police Office admitted that the government’s aggressive campaign against drugs has always been marred by the involvement of some policemen as protectors of drug syndicates.
Eleazar, however, said the decision whether to tap SAF commandos still remained with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Earlier, Duterte said he wanted the government’s anti-narcotics units to focus more on big-time drug lords. (PNA)