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PHL, U.S. sign illegal narcotics control accord

MANILA, April 19 (PNA) – The Philippines and the United States signed on Tuesday a Letter of Agreement (LOA) that affirms the Aquino administration’s resolve to promote the rule of law and address the scourge of illegal narcotics trade and trafficking.

The LOA on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement was sealed by Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario and United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr.

The agreement was designed to enhance the Philippines’ capability to improve prosecutorial training, improve the operation of the criminal justice system, strengthen police-prosecutor cooperation and support better use of existing criminal procedure tools.

The program will be implemented over a 12-month period, subject to renewal with the concurrence of both parties.

Under the LOA, the U.S. will provide funding assistance for the Philippine Justice Sector Reform Program.

Witnessing the signing were Justice Assistant Secretary Geronimo L. Sy and officials from the DFA, Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and the U.S. Embassy.

“The agreement is another headway in Philippines-United States relations,” Del Rosario said.

“The Philippine government’s efforts in law enforcement and narcotics control deserve strong support, especially since overseas Filipino workers have become prey to perpetrators of the illegal drugs trade,” Thomas said.

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