The production, trafficking, and use of illicit drugs have been of great concern for Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines for many years. To step up cooperation to combat illegal trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs, a memorandum of understanding (MOA) was recently signed between the two countries.
The MOA was signed between General Moro Virgilio Lazo, Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and Dato Paduka Mohd Zalani, Director of Brunei Darussalam’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Quezon City at the PDEA headquarters. This partnership was forged as a result of a decade of bilateral talks and coordination.
According to the PDEA, the memorandum aims to promote the agency’s cooperation with Brunei Darussalam’s NCB through collaboration in investigations and information exchange. The investigations could be related to money laundering, smuggling, trafficking, and other aspects of the drug trade. These drugs have been listed in the schedules added to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
The memorandum also aims to ramp up their fight against the trafficking and abuse of psychotropic substances, new psychoactive substances, and controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPEC) in addition to narcotic drugs. According to the MOA, Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines would collaborate in investigations of cases involving citizens of both countries.
The Brunei delegation visited the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) as a part of the exposure visit. The group also visited the ASEAN Training Center for Preventive Drug Education (ATCPDE) and the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (TRC) of the Department of Health in Taguig City’s Camp Bagong Diwa.