New PDEA Chief vows to suppress drugs in 3 to 6 months

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Outgoing PDEA Chief Arturo Cacdac Jr. officially turns over leadership to Isidro Lapeña.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Newly-installed Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapeña said on Saturday he is focusing on reducing the demand for drugs at the community level.

This is to complement the PDEA's ongoing efforts to curb the flow of drugs into the country.

Lapeña's predecessor, Arturo Cacdac Jr., formally turned over to him the agency's leadership on Saturday morning.

The new PDEA chief said drug use is still prevalent in the barangay level, and he wants to address this during his term at the agency.

He is also bent on fulfilling President Rodrigo Duterte's marching order to suppress drugs in three to six months.

"I was given the honor to handle that top concern of the President and we will deliver," he said.

He believes this is doable with the help of other departments, such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Health Department.

Lapeña wants a holistic approach to the problem, adding it can only be done through inter-agency action.

Lapeña also warned those involved in drugs to take Duterte's anti-drug campaign seriously. He said it was done in Davao City, and it can be replicated in the whole country.

"That should be a very strong warning against them and if we take the example of Davao City in addressing the drug problem, we have a very strong address against drugs… When they get into it, it’s really very risky upon themselves. It would be, I would say, as good as suicide, even," he said.