MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has named Wilkins Villanueva as the new director-general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Villanueva himself confirmed his appointment by sharing a copy of the appointment paper, signed by Duterte on May 22, on his official Facebook account.
“After almost two decades of serving our country on the field of drug law enforcement through different capacities and positions both with PNP [Philippine National Police] Narcotics Group and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, I finally achieved what I was aiming for… Director-General of PDEA,” Villanueva said in his post.
He expressed gratitude to the President for giving his trust and confidence to lead the country’s war on drugs.
“I will never fail you Mr. President!” he added. “The war on drug continues!”
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed Villanueva’s appointment.
Villanueva was former PDEA-Region 10 regional director.
Villanueva also had a stint at the Bureau of Customs-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service.
He will replace Aaron Aquino who was relieved after heading the agency’s war on illegal drugs for almost three years, PDEA Spokesperson Derrick Carreon said.
“Outgoing DG Aquino did not step down. He was relieved and shall be succeeded by incoming DG Wilkins Villanueva po. We all know that movement in key positions in government offices is the sole prerogative of the President. In this case, outgoing DG Aquino will be assuming another position in the bureaucracy but we are not at liberty to disclose further details,” Carreon said.
Aquino, a member od Philippine Military Academy Class 1985, was appointed to lead PDEA in 2017.
He thanked the President and his colleagues at the PDEA for their support during his leadership.
In a statement, the PDEA welcomed Villanueva as its seventh director-general.
“The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency welcomes its seventh Director-General, Wilkins M Villanueva,” PDEA said. (With reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)