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Duterte names PDEA as 'sole agency' for drug war

12 October 2017

Named respondents were PNP chief Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa and Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy.

Duterte placed PDEA in charge back in January and suspended police from all anti-drugs operations, but reinstated them a few week later, arguing that drugs had returned to the streets.

Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, the PNP spokesman, said they would follow Duterte's order, adding the police could now focus in their anti-criminality operations and "internal cleansing" to rid the agency of "scalawags" for their involvement drugs and other crmes.

Duterte, in a memorandum signed on October 10, tasked the PDEA to conduct anti-illegal drug operations "against all those who directly or indirectly, and in whatever manner or capacity, are involved in or connected with illegal drugs".

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

"The PNP shall, at all times, make police visibility as deterrent to illegal drug activities, leaving to the PDEA, however, the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations", the order read.

The police have been heavily criticised for their brutal way of handling drug-related arrests.

"We are ready, we can do it", Carreon said.

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

Police disbanded all 18 regional anti-drugs units on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President's latest directive simply meant that there was "substantial advances" on the administration's drug crackdown as the street distribution of narcotics already "degraded". "I have only more than a thousands of agents", added Aquino who, on Sunday, led a raid that resulted in the arrest of a mayor of Sarangani province in Mindanao, described the by PDEA as a "drug lord".

Abella said the PDEA would now elevate the campaign against illegal drugs as it has widened its scope. 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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Duterte names PDEA as 'sole agency' for drug war