PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Virgilio Lazo revealed on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, a “commission scheme” for assets or tipsters giving them information about illegal drug users and pushers.

In a hearing of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, Lazo was asked about the alleged recycling of illegal drugs seized during operations.

In response, Lazo said he learned upon assuming office in November about the 30 percent commission for the tipsters, which will come from the confiscated illegal contraband.

“I only assumed the position on November 19, Mr. Chairman and I had the chance of talking to some informants or assets that recall, especially during the time the PNP (Philippine National Police) had problems with the edict, there were agents offering to give us—ang term sir nila, ‘trabaho’ eh. ‘Magbibigay kami ng trabaho,” he said.

“So I personally sat down with some of them. Eh ang sistema sir, I do not have to spend anything. They will do all the work but they are asking 30 percent of the actual seizures as their payment,” he added.

Upon hearing it, Lazo said he outrightly told them that such a scheme will not be tolerated by his leadership.

He said informants will be given monetary reward for their accomplishments.

“I do not allow the payment of drugs…for their efforts,” said Lazo.

The committee will conduct a motu propio investigation on Lazo’s revelation.

Meanwhile, in an interview on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, PNP chief of the Public Information Office (PIO) Colonel Red Maranan maintained that there is no such scheme in their organization.

“Sa atin sa PNP hindi po natin ginagawa yan sapagkat alam natin labag sa batas yan. Sa atin sa PNP, meron taong pinaiiral na monetary reward system lalong lalo na sa paghuli sa mga wanted person. Meron tayong mga tinalagang mga recognition sa mga tao, sa mga informants na tumutulong sa atin para mahuli ‘yung mga taong pinaghahanap ng batas,” he said.

(We in the PNP do not do that because we know it is against the law. In the PNP, there is a monetary reward system in place, especially for catching wanted persons. We have some recognitions for people, informants who help us catch the people wanted by the law.)

“Ang paggamit natin ng informant ay fully documented sa pamamagitan ng tinatawag nating case operational plan. Kung sino man ‘yung ginagamit nating informant na tumutulong sa atin, yan ay nakadokumento. May mga agent’s agreement na pinipirmahan, kumpleto ‘yung kanyang pagkatao, bio-profile at kapag naging successful ‘yung ating ini-lodge na operation nabibigyan ng mga recognition ‘yung ating mga informants,” he added.

(Our use of informants is fully documented through what we call the case operational plan. Whoever we use as an informant, that is documented. There are agent’s agreements that are signed; his personality, bio-profile is complete and when the operation we lodge is successful, our informants are given recognitions.)

Maranan said they will never tolerate the recycling of illegal drugs, noting that those involved in such illegal activity will not be tolerated. (SunStar Philippines)