Newly Appointed DDB head Dionisio Santiago will remove SAF from the New Bilibid Prison

Dionisio Santiago is the newly appointed Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) head. Like what he said before, if he were to be appointed to be Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief, he will remove the Special Action Force (SAF) from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

"Kailangan sila (SAF) somewhere else. It's time for them to be police officers," said in a radio station.

In an earlier statement, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa wanted the SAF to be removed from the Bilibid to prevent anyone from putting the blame them regarding the reported resurgence of illegal drug trade in the prison.

"Sila mismo rin gusto umalis doon dahil wala silang complete control doon sa mga Bilbid drug lords...Ang kanilang apprehension, baka masisira lang kami dito sir, kung nandito kami tapos magpapatuloy 'yung drug trade na 'yan dahil hindi rin namin mako-kontrol," he said in a press conference.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II is eyeing for Santiago to be the new BuCor chief.

"Secretary Aguirre will also recommend today as possible replacement Ret Gen Dionisio Santiago," DOJ Undersecretary Erickson Balmes told reporters.

In fact, he recommended the retired General Dioniso Santiago as a "possible replacement" for Benjamin de los Santos who recently resigned from the post.

"I'm very grateful... It's an honor,"Santiago said, adding that "Ang president ang may last say doon."

Santiago was appointed as the new DDB chairman by President Rodrigo Duterte himself. He was the President's source for his 4 million drug addicts statistics in the Philippines which is greatly contradicting the 1.8 million figures of DDB.

He replaced former DDB chairman Benjamin delos Santos who was fired by the President for giving him a wrong figure of drug users.

"Here comes a chairman, you're fired today, get out of service," the President said. "You do not contradict your own government. If you are there, you're just a civilian member of the board, you are not the implementer of the law."

On July 13, Delos Santos submitted his resignation letter to the Justice Secretary.

"Issue about resurgence of drug trade has made me irrelevant," De Los Santos said in a text message sent to reporters on Thursday.

He added, "I will refrain from further comments and take the vow of silence."

Aguirre, on the other hand, said the next day  that the resignation letter will be forwarded to the President "for appropriate action".

"We thank Gen. Ben De Los Santos for once again serving in the government and we wish him well in all of his future endeavors," the justice chief said.

Source: Rappler