The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has no list of names yet of the almost 2,000 convicts freed through the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) computation of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino believed the list included names of convicted drug lords and expressed dismay for their release.
“Talagang dismayado ang PDEA at nalulungkot lahat ng law enforcement agencies dahil sa tagal tagal ng pagpaplano namin para mahuli itong mga druglords na ito, para maconvict ay napakahabang panahon,” Aquino lamented.
(Our men in PDEA are disappointed and other law enforcement agencies are saddened because with the long period of time spent in planning just to capture, and leading these drug lords to conviction was a lengthy process.)
“Kung gaano iyan kahaba ay ganon naman kaiksi kung paano sila nakalaya, (The longer it took us (to convict them), the shorter it took them to get released.)
President Rodrigo Duterte has given the convicts 15 days to surrender but Aquino doubts that these drug lords will yield to authorities following their release.
“Pwede din kaming mag aresto kung hindi sila susuko (We may arrest them if they refuse to surrender). That’s why we are asking also the list from the Bureau of Corrections,” he said.
However, he believes it would be a big challenge to them to bring the convicts back behind bars considering the tedious process of investigation, surveillance, entrapment, raid and operations they went through to arrest the said drug lords.