Duterte says he will return drug war lead role to PNP
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 65th League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) General Assembly at the Shangri-La at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig City on November 21, 2017, reads a briefer on the effects of various illegal drugs as he explains how some illegal drug suspects tend to turn violent especially when accosted by law enforcers. King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is bent on bringing back the police to his brutal war on drugs as he reiterated the need to dismantle the narcotics apparatus in the country.
Duterte said the Philippine National Police has to be involved in the anti-drug crackdown to prevent the proliferation of methamphetamine or shabu.
“When you say ‘all-out war,’ (that means) the order is to destroy the organizations because shabu involves organized crime,” the president told Army troops Wednesday in Fort Magsaysay.
“But as of now, just to parry, I placed it under PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency). But whether I like it or not, I have to return that power to the police because surely, it will increase the activity of the shabu,” he added.
READ: Drug war's revert to PDEA: Retreat, without real plan
Duterte has said that PDEA might not be able to solve the country’s drug menace because it lacks manpower. He noted that the agency only has 2,000 personnel nationwide.
Duterte transferred the lead role in the crackdown on illegal drugs to PDEA following the outcry over the death of two teenage suspects in the hands of Caloocan policemen last August.
Policemen claimed that Kian delos Santos, 17, was a drug runner who violently resisted arrest but witnesses said the teenager was executed.
Carl Arnaiz, 19, was reportedly shot dead after robbing taxi driver Tomas Bagcal, who later on disowned the affidavits attributed to him.
READ: 4 key details in cabbie's version of events leading to Carl Arnaiz's death
PDEA data showed that 117,268 drug personalities were arrested and 78,619 anti-drug operations were conducted from July to November.
A total of 2,525.77 kilos of shabu or methamphetamine worth P18.9 billion were seized in the same period. The agency has also declared 4,295 barangays drug-cleared since July.
READ: Amnesty International: PDEA as lead drug war agency a 'PR' move