Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Philippines' Duterte brings back police in his anti-drug war

Philippines' Duterte brings back police in his anti-drug war

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's violent war on drugs has reportedly killed dozens of kids during police raids and attacks that have led to the deaths of thousands of others.

Commission on Human Rights Spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said on Wednesday that she hopes the PNP follows PDEA's lead, noting that there were fewer reported deaths when PDEA was at the helm of the drug war. There has been a resurgence in illegal drugs and crimes since the police left the campaign, according to a spokesperson.

But he reinstated them five weeks later, arguing that drugs were pouring back to the streets, but then pulled them off the campaign again in October and made the PDEA the sole agency in charge of the anti-drug campaign.

Other law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Postal Corporation were also directed to provide support to the PDEA in the conduct of the anti-narcotics campaign.

"It says PNP and all other agencies can participate in the anti-illegal drug operations", he said.

Efforts by a Philippine agency to combat drug trafficking will be supported by the country's law enforcement officers, in a sign that the government is seeking to reinforce its anti-drug campaign. "The Dangerous Drugs Board shall remain as the policy-making and strategy formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programs on drug prevention and control", Roque said.

The country's judiciary and police have proven themselves both unwilling and unable to hold the killers in the "war on drugs" to account.

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In one of the most high-profile incidents, 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos was fatally shot by three cops during an anti-drug operation in August. The sign reads: "This is our area, don't come here, there will be next one! It has been the desire of PDEA that PNP will return in the fight against illegal drugs", PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino said.

Duterte has spurred worldwide alarm over the bloody anti-drug campaign, which was a campaign promise and a hallmark of his three-decade political career. Duterte had slammed all his critics, saying they don't have the right to interfere in a domestic problem.

Suspected pushers and users were caught red-handed selling and using methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, and ecstasy, respectively, inside plush hotel rooms in Metro Manila, during a string of buy-bust operations and implementation of search warrants by the PDEA. The Philippines has a population of 101 million as of the 2015 survey. In the name of God, stop the killings!

"President Duterte and other high-level government officials have openly advocated for killings, which could amount to criminal responsibility under worldwide law". He criticised the decision to restore the 170,000-strong police anew in the war against illegal drugs.

Citing lack of manpower, the firebrand leader later reactivated police anti-drug activities.

But in October he announced that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency would replace the police in the drug war following mounting public opposition, including rare street protests, that were triggered by officers allegedly murdering three teenagers.

"Those failures highlight the need for United Nations action to investigate these killings, and to end the murderous police operations on urban poor communities", Kine said.

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