Drug suspects cut way out of Philippines police facility

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he would recall some police to fight his controversial war on drugs, almost a month after suspending the entire force from all operations in the bloody campaign.

Duterte barred the 170,000-strong national police from his anti-drug crackdown a few weeks ago after two anti-narcotics officers were implicated in the killing of a South Korean businessman in an extortion scandal that allegedly used the antinarcotics campaign as a cover.

"Every [police] station should have one pero 'yung piling-pili (but carefully chosen), 'yung walang mga kaso at walang history ng corruption (especially those who have no case or history of corruption)".

Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly promised to shield police from prosecution if they were charged with murder for killing in the drug war.

"So, I need more men".

"That is the general sentiment of LGUs (local government units)". It may take a long time to form such task force, he said, because "it's not easy to look for honest men". But Dela Rosa said he was told by President Rodrigo Duterte to be prepared: "Just be ready".

The PNP chief stressed that he also received a report that the drug pushers are proliferating in the streets again. "So, the sooner we return, the better", he added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will now be involved in the government's "renewed" war on illegal drugs after it signed an agreement making it the campaign's "force provider".




Duterte handed the campaign over to the much smaller Drug Enforcement Agency, with support from the military.

"We have to await proper instructions and guidelines", he said.

"Our forces and assets provided for each operation will not conduct 'Tokhang, '" Arevalo said.

President Duterte stopped the "war on drugs" when it was discovered that some police scalawags in the likes of SPO3 Ricky Sta.

The task force will assist law enforcement agencies in identifying, investigating and neutralizing those who use, sell, manufacture and distribution illegal drugs.

He tapped PDEA, with the help of the military, to be the lead agency in the campaign against the drug menace.

On Tuesday, he said those police recalled to operations would have to be supervised by PDEA agents.

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