Duterte pulls police off drugs crackdown

Lester Mason
October 12, 2017

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday destroyed a total of PHP10.67 million worth of controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs), together with laboratory equipment intended for the production of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Philippines-President Rodrigo Duterte has given the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the full power to lead the government's war on illegal drugs.

Duterte did not explain in his memorandum why he pulled out the PNP from the anti-drug operations but police have lately been under heavy fire for alleged rampant abuses especially in the extra-judicial killings of children and minors that have drawn nationwide anger and indignation.

On January 30, 2017, Duterte instructed the PNP to dismantle all its anti-illegal drug units and "cleanse its ranks" of corrupt personnel following the kidnap and murder of a South Korean businessman inside Camp Crame.

"The PNP shall, at all times, maintain police visibility, as a deterrent to illegal drug activities leaving to the PDEA, however, the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations as aforestated", he said.

The conduct of the drug war again came under question from rights groups following the death of teenage drug suspect Kian Delos Santos in August.

"Even without the President's order, the Tagum PNP is not conducting any operations without the proper coordination to the PDEA", Tirador told Davao Today in an interview Wednesday, October 11.

The PDEA, created by virtue of Republic Act No. 9165, is mandated by law to undertake the enforcement of the provisions of the said law relative to the unlawful acts and penalties involving unsafe drugs and substances.

Duterte issued the directive "in order to bring order to the operation/campaign against illegal drugs, thus pinpointing precise accountability".

Citing lack of manpower in the anti-narcotics operations, the firebrand leader later chose to tap the police again in the war against illegal drugs as he stressed that only the qualified ones would be allowed to join the crackdown.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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