Philippines' Duterte brings back police in his anti-drug war

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-05 20:18:55|Editor: liuxin
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MANILA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) "to resume providing active support" to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the war on drugs, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

Roque said Duterte has recently signed a memorandum on the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations directing the PNP and other law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost), "to resume providing active support to PDEA in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations.

"The president's memorandum order is likewise in response to a clamor from the public to restore to the PNP and other law enforcement agencies the responsibility of providing active support to the PDEA," Roque told reporters.

He said there has been a notable resurgence in illegal drug activities and crimes since the PNP and other law enforcement agencies were directed to leave the conduct of all anti-illegal campaigns and operations to the PDEA this October.

PDEA, as chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), shall coordinate all government efforts in this regard, Roque said.

"The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) shall remain as the policymaking and strategy formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programs on drug prevention and control," Roque added.

Roque said Duterte recognizes the significant strides PDEA has made in the government's anti-illegal campaign.

However, he said PDEA has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by lack of resources, specifically agents and operatives who can penetrate drug-infected areas down to the municipal and village levels.

Duterte, who assumed the presidency in June last year, waged a brutal war against drug syndicates. Thousands of suspected drug peddlers and users have so far been killed in the campaign, while police claimed they were killed due to violent resistance to arrest.