Aquino assumes as PDEA chief

Retired Police Chief Superintendent Aaron N. Aquino has formally assumed as head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Aquino replaced outgoing Director General and new Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) Isidro S. Lapeña, during a turnover ceremony on Monday at the PDEA national headquarters in Quezon City.

“I am going to build around what my illustrious predecessor has begun by continuing the programs and improvements he has initiated in the Agency. I will institute strategic operational thrusts that propelled PDEA to where it is now, but with a stronger sense of urgency. Rest assured, PDEA will be an upgraded version of an organization from here on,” the incoming PDEA chief said.

Aquino, a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Sandiwa” Class of 1985, had a long, colorful and distinguished career as a decorated military and police officer.

He has held major positions in the Presidential Security Group (PSG) for eight years during the terms of President Corazon Aquino and President Fidel Ramos, and Police Regional Offices 4, 10 and 11.

The new PDEA chief has multi-functional expertise and diversified experiences in the field of intelligence, operations, investigation, administration and development management training.

He is a seasoned intelligence and investigation officer honed from experiences in the field and in various local and foreign-sponsored trainings which include stints in the Hostage Rescue Operation Course and Crisis Management and Hostage Negotiation Course, both conducted by the British Special Air Service (SAS) in 1988 and 1989; Anti-Terrorist Tactical Firearms Training in Camp Beauregrad, Louisiana, USA in 1990; Flight Security Operation Course in Israel in 1993; Conflict Resolution in Facilitation and Mediation in Osce, Kosovo in 2011; Underwater Operation Course mentored by the Special Warfare Group-Navy Seals; and Regional Executive Leadership Program in JCLEC Semarang, Indonesia in 2008. (PNA)