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Malacañang has fired the deputy director general for operations of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, in a development that appears to have caught the government's primary anti-narcotics body off guard.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the order to relieve PDEA's Carlos Gadapan was signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
"We confirm that he has been relieved for loss of confidence," Lacierda said on Monday.
The Palace official, however, would not give details as to why Gadapan has been dismissed.
PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said the agency was also in the dark as the relief order.
"This is way above us," Carreon said, adding that he had no personal knowledge that Gadapan was even being investigated. Carreon acknowledged that agents of the National Bureau of Investigation were in PDEA on Monday, but he declined to hazard a guess as to the nature of the NBI probe.