Duterte sidelines police in war on illegal drugs

By Neil Jerome Morales

On March 6, the PNP officially relaunched its campaign against drugs dubbed Oplan Double Barrel Alpha Reloaded.

Since the crackdown, more than 1,300,000 suspects have surrendered and at least 113,900 arrests have been made, the Phillipine police said.

"Kung ang [if the] situation warrants warrantless arrest, we can take effect the arrest immediately".

"We will still uphold the law".

Assorted laboratory equipment with an estimated value of PHP1,020,744 that were confiscated during anti-drug operations were smashed to prevent them from being used again.

PNP Directorate of Operations chief Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan policemen affected by the disbanding of the DEUs may be reassigned to intelligence units in line with their anti-criminality operations.

That suspension came after a South Korean businessman was kidnapped and killed by anti-drug police.

This will also be the second time that President Duterte ordered the PNP to stop all anti-drug operations nationwide. We'll just look for other things to work on, just not drugs for now, " said PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa.

The country's Drugs Enforcement Agency will take charge of operations instead.

It also followed an anti-Duterte protest last month by thousands of people in Manila, and a series of surveys that point to doubts among many Filipinos about the validity of police accounts, and whether those killed were all drug dealers. "The transport will arrive on 22 October", said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, adding a short phrase: "it's free".

PDEA spokesman Derreck Carreon said the agency had about 2,000 personnel and funds for only 200 new agents next year.

"PDEA will now bring policy focus, expert performance standards, high-level coordination of oversight, and centralized intelligence collection to the war on drugs", the presidential spokesperson said. The petition stated that "the PNP's "War on Drugs" as operationalized under CMC 16-2016 violates the right to life, to due process of law, to be presumed innocent, and to a fair trial by expressly authorizing the summary killing of suspected drug offenders in the guise of "neutralizing" or "negating" them".

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