Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Learning to fight drug traffickers: A US-Philippines training partnership
With the goal of more successful investigations and arrests of drug traffickers, more than 40 Filipino police officers, counter-drug agents, and military personnel are attending a four-week intensive law enforcement-training course sponsored by the U.S. Government in Davao City beginning May 8.
Philippine agencies represented in the exercise are the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and National Bureau of Investigation.
The training course, called “Baker Piston,” is an Asia-wide program that helps improve the effectiveness of counter-drug agencies by training their law enforcement agents in ground operations – such as investigations and raids – that will lead to successful prosecutions of drug traffickers. It also gives participants a rare opportunity to participate in multi-agency exercises and develop contacts in other agencies.
The Baker Piston course in Davao City will include sessions on human rights awareness, cordon and search techniques, special reconnaissance, land navigation, medical procedures, advanced marksmanship, small unit tactics in urban terrain, mission planning, trail interdiction, and movement techniques.
There will also be small group sessions for managers and leaders on instructor training and training management, and international drug situation briefings for all attendees. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (JIATF) West sponsored the program.
U.S. counter-drug experts and military trainers are teaching the sessions that will all be held at the classroom and shooting range of Philippine Public Safety College Regional Training Center 11.
“Our Philippine counter-drug professionals appreciate intensive training such as this in order to strengthen the effectiveness of our anti-drug operations and enhance our ability to work jointly with other law enforcement and security agencies,” said Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency Regional Director Wilkins Villanueva. “We hope it will lead to increased arrests and prosecutions of the drug dealers who threaten our children, families, and barangays throughout the country.”
According to Tim Teal, Country Attaché of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, this program has proven extremely successful over the past few years. “This is the second Baker program we have sponsored in Davao, and the fourth that has been conducted in the Philippines. The previous locations were Zamboanga City and Baguio,” he said.
“The Baker course is a hands-on application of skills and tactics that counter-drug professionals need to be successful in a rural environment. Techniques of communicating, maneuvering, and shooting are taught to the participants to help them to conduct safe and effective joint operations. The U.S. Government is dedicated to assisting our partners in fighting drug producers and traffickers who harm the well-being of their innocent citizens.” (PRESS RELEASE)