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Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-6) officer-in-charge Alex M. Tablate (2nd from right) and other PDEA-6 officials pay a courtesy call to Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. (Capitol photo)

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-6) said it is strictly monitoring crucial routes to assure a peaceful and orderly celebration of the 51st Iloilo Dinagyang Festival on January 25-27, 2019.

In a media interview during his courtesy call with Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. on January 9, new PDEA-6 officer-in-charge Alex M. Tablate said they regularly conduct monitoring of seaports and airports to intercept attempted transport of illegal drugs.

“We know that Panay is an island so we expect a lot of entry points…And with this kind of event, we know that there will be an influx of tourists and drug personalities will take advantage of that,” Tablate said.

“May ganitong mga events, dagsa ang tawo. So pag madaming tao, daming turista, doon diin mima-maximize ng mga kalaban natin,” he added.

But he assured the agency “will do its part” to curb illegalities.

Tututukan talaga natin pero alam naman natin na ang kalabanan natin ang may mga initiative yan pero rest assured, ang PDEA and PNP at tututok dyan,” Tablate said

Tablate said that their continuous monitoring on seaports and airports that serve as drug-gateway already started last month.

Three of the PDEA’s K-9 units conduct regular inspection at major ports. Tablate hopes that additional units will be provided by March.

Tablate said that the region is prone to the entry of drugs because of its geographical situation.

Panay is like Region 8 ‘yan eh na island, we expect na ang daming pwede pasukan,” he added.

The community, therefore, has a role to play in ensuring a “drug-free” Dinagyang festival.

Tablate stressed that the success of the operation also lies on the participation of the community.

He also thanked Governor Defensor for the continued support he has given to the agency.


“As long as you follow the law, you have my full support,” the governor said.


PDEA recorded a notable decrease in the supply of illegal drugs in Western Visayas compared to the previous years since Pres. Rodrigo Duterte assumed.

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