Duterte orders return of police to war on drugs

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2017 05:10 PM | Updated as of Mar 01 2017 04:09 PM

Three unidentified assailants gunned down Peter Cruz in Barangay Manggahan, Pasig City on the evening of January 31, 2017. Fernando Sepe, Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday announced that he will again use policemen in his controversial war on drugs amid reports that drug dealers are back on the streets, but he said not all policemen will participate in the renewed campaign.

“I have ordered [PNP chief] Bato [dela Rosa] to recruit young men in the PNP who are imbued with fervor of patriotism to be the members only of the task forces. Every station should have one pero yung pili ng pili (but only select ones), iyung walang history of corruption (those who don’t have a history of corruption),” Duterte said. 

“I have to do it because kulang ako ng tao.”

(I have to do it because I lack men.)

Duterte also said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which took over the campaign when the police’s war on drugs was suspended, will continue to supervise anti-illegal drug operations.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) last month suspended its war on drugs after several cops were accused of kidnapping and then killing a Korean businessman right inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame in the guise of an anti-drug operation. 

Duterte yesterday said, since the suspension of the police’s war on drugs, there has been "a gain, a rise of drug activities by 20 percent.”

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa yesterday said the police force is willing to resume its campaign if Duterte will allow it. He claimed that drug traffickers were rejoicing over the suspension of the police campaign.

“The longer na wala kami sa war on drugs, the situation is getting worse, the more na babalik yung problema. Sayang yung gains na nakuha natin from the first 7 months ng ating war on drugs. Nasasayangan ako e. So the sooner the better.”

(The problem will worsen the longer we are not part of the war on drugs. I don't want the progress of the war on drugs for the first 7 months to go to waste.)