Western Visayas has a new anti-drug czar

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A homegrown Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operative is set to lead the anti-narcotics agency in Western Visayas,

Effective Jan 17, 2022, PDEA-Region 6 (PDEA-6) will have Melvin Estoque as its new acting regional director.

Estoque, the outgoing regional director 4-A (Calabarzon), will replace Alex Tablate.

After graduating from the PDEA Academy and serving the agency for several years, he was detailed to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in 2017.

He headed the BOC’s Account Management Office, the unit that handles the accreditation of importers and customs brokers.

In January 2018, Estoque returned to PDEA following the termination of his temporary detail order.

Meanwhile, Tablate was designated as assistant regional director of PRO-8 (Eastern Visayas).

“Iloilo City has been my home for more than three years. Surely, I’ll be missing this place,” he said.

He also thanked all PDEA-6 counterparts, especially the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 family, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Health (DOH), the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (NICA), the different local government units, and the media for their support and partnership.

Tablate was PDEA-6 acting regional director from December 2018 until June 2020.

He again assumed the same post from July 2021 until his reassignment on Tuesday.

Tablate said his reassignment is part of the regular revamp of officers.

Almost all regions are affected and there are about 25 key officers who were reassigned to different posts.

Meanwhile, Tablate said that his legacy as PDEA-6 director was taking part in the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP).

Currently, Western Visayas has cleared around 89 percent of its barangays.