Duterte restarts war on drugs after police inquiry

Posted March 01, 2017

Dela Rosa said he had spoken with governors, mayors and village officials who, he said, were clamouring for police to return to the anti-drugs campaign because drug peddlers and users were back on the streets.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa told reporters that the police force is willing to resume its campaign if Duterte will allow it, as he claimed that drug traffickers are rejoicing over the suspension of the police campaign.

"At yesterday's command conference I ordered (him) to recruit young men in the Philippine National Police who are imbued with the fervour of patriotism", he said. "Every station should have one but members should be carefully screened, only those without a history of corruption", he said.

Arevalo said that the country's military would extend legal support to PDEA in all stages of prosecution to ensure that those caught would be punished.

"I have to do it because I lack men".

The PDEA, which only has more than 1,800 agents, has tapped the national police to help it fight an illegal drug trade Duterte said has worsened into a national security threat. The incident was reported to have taken place inside the national police headquarters.

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However, Dela Rosa declined to divulge the timeline, as, he elaborated, the police wants to surprise the enemy.

"We are ready to go back to war if given order by the president. Nasasayangan ako e. So the sooner the better".

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

In line with this, the AFP will expand the Joint Counter-intelligence Task Force (JCTF) Noah, an ad hoc unit created to conduct drugs-related counterintelligence operations.

The military also plans to use its assets in assisting PDEA in counterintelligence build-up and investigation of government officials and groups linked to illegal drugs. "The Armed Forces of the Philippines will only be involved in high-impact operations and arrest of high-value targets". Oplan Tokhang, the police campaign against illegal drugs, was stopped following Jee Ick-joo's killing.

"With this agreement, we can now push through with our new and bigger role in ending the illegal drugs scourge", Arevalo said.