Philippines: Rodrigo Duterte orders police back into deadly drug war

07 Décembre, 2017, 03:08 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wearing a military uniform gestures as he delivers a speech during the 67th founding anniversary of the First Scout Ranger regiment in San Miguel town Bulacan province north of Manila

The re-entry of the PNP in the war on drugs is expected to be compared with the PDEA which only recorded one death since it led the operations from early October up to Duterte's announcement.

Back in October, Duterte had designated the PDEA as the sole agency to implement the government's campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in the country.

Since Duterte's anti-drug campaign began past year, human rights watchdogs, such as Human Rights Watch, have put estimates of the number of people killed at as high as 12,000, though the police records indicate a much humbler figure of just 4,000.

"We will be multipliers of the PDEA...we will be on active support of the PDEA".

De Guia was referring to Republic Act 9165 or the "Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002", which said PDEA must "take charge" in anti-illegal drug operations.

Aside from the PNP, other agencies that will support PDEA are the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the Philippine Postal Office (PhilPost). "It has been the desire of the PDEA that PNP will return in the fight against illegal drugs", PDEA Director Aaron Aquino said. The decision came as pollster Social Weather Stations revealed its third-quarter report that showed that the popularity of Duterte's illegal drugs campaign had declined since December 2016.

The October 10 suspension was the second time Duterte removed police from the anti-drug campaign.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque explained that "active support" means the PNP can "participate" in the campaign and that it will have to "consult" the PDEA on anti-drug operations.

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Duterte, 72, was elected past year on a promise to eradicate drugs from society by launching an unprecedented campaign in which up to 100,000 people would die.

Human rights watchdogs said most of the fatalities in the crackdown have been extrajudicial killings committed by cops-an allegation that the government has vehemently and repeatedly denied by insisting that police were only killing in self-defense.

According to the president, four million Filipinos are addicted to "shabu", the Filipino slang for methamphetamine hydrochloride.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte holds a weapon as he visits troops fighting the extremist Maute group in Marawi, Philippines, on August 24.

In a strongly-worded statement, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier called on the government to stop the "systematic murders and the reign of terror" in carrying out the war on drugs. Supreme Court Justice Chief Maria Lourdes Sereno said there was a day where 32 drug suspects were killed in one province in nine hours and a similar number killed in one city, with Duterte being quoted as saying it was a good result that should happen every day.

The tactical shift in Duterte's drug war came at a hard time in his leadership.

Duterte said at the time the police force was "corrupt to the core".

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