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Ping says new PDEA chief Villanueva fit for the job but has work cut out for him. Here’s why

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New Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Wilkins Villanueva will be a good fit for the post due to his long anti-drug career, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.

Lacson cited Villanueva’s nearly 20 years in law enforcement with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA.

“The President couldn’t have appointed a more qualified head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, having served our country for nearly 20 years with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA,” he said in a statement.

He also described the new PDEA director general-designate as “one good and professional officer who is fit for the job, having a long career in drug enforcement.”

But Lacson also said Villanueva will face the challenge of going after drug personalities in the “new normal” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the challenge of going after drug personalities amid the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he indeed has his work cut out for him,” he said.

Villanueva, in an interview on DZBB, had said he is considering adjustments in protocols, including ensuring his operatives are protected from the COVID-19 threat while doing their jobs.

Meanwhile, Lacson said he looks forward to working with Villanueva, including in hearings for the agency’s budget in 2021.

“I look forward to working with him, being the Senate Finance Subcommittee Chair and Sponsor of the PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) budgets, among others,” Lacson said.

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