Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) chairperson Dante Jimenez as the new co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

Duterte signed Jimenez’s appointment paper on February 21, according to the list of new presidential appointees released by Malacañang on Friday.

Jimenez’s appointment as ICAD co-chair came despite Duterte’s previous pronouncement that he would no longer appoint a new drug czar after he fired Vice President Leni Robredo from the post.

Duterte earlier named Robredo as co-chair of ICAD on Oct. 31, 2019, after the latter claimed that the government’s crackdown on illegal drugs is “obviously not working”.

Robredo was supposed to help her ICAD co-chair, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino, in addressing the drug menace in the country until June 30, 2022.

She was, however, fired as drug czar on November 24 last year for failing to present new measures to improve the government’s fight against illegal drugs.

In a statement, Aquino welcomed Jimenez’s appointment.

“The appointment of Mr. Dante Jimenez as ICAD co-chairman is a welcome development for the illegal drug campaign. Mr. Jimenez, an anti-corruption crusader, will greatly contribute to the illegal drug war of the government since illegal drugs are also linked to corruption. We are looking forward to working with him,” Aquino said.

ICAD, created through Executive Order 15 signed on March 6, 2017, is tasked to ensure the member-agencies’ implementation of and compliance with all policies, laws, and issuances on the anti-narcotics campaign in an “integrated and synchronized manner.”

ICAD members include the Dangerous Drugs Board; Philippine National Police; National Bureau of Investigation; Armed Forces of the Philippines; Anti-Money Laundering Council; Public Attorney’s Office; Office of the Solicitor General; Philippine Coast Guard; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; and Philippine Information Agency.

Other members of the anti-drug body are the Departments of the Interior and Local Government, Justice, Health, Education, Social Welfare, Trade, Agriculture, and Defense; and the bureaus of Customs and Immigration.

In November 2019, Jimenez bared that the PACC requested Duterte to tap his office as a new ICAD member to further boost the government’s anti-narcotics drive.

Other appointees

Meanwhile, Duterte also named Enrique Manalo as the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations (UN).

Manalo’s new post was first offered to Rodolfo Robles, but the latter’s nomination was deferred by the Commission on Appointments after being grilled on several issues, including the country’s arbitral award over the South China Sea dispute.

Duterte tapped Robles as the Philippines’ ambassador to Canada.

Manalo and Robles’ appointment papers were signed by Duterte on February 11 and 21, respectively.

Duterte on February 11 also named Rex Anthony Villegas as board member of the Philippine National Oil Company Renewables Corporation (PNOC-RC).

PNOC-RC is the government’s primary vehicle in promoting, developing and implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in the country. (iamigo/sovereignph.com/with reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)

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