PNP to lead drug war again if PDEA fails
President Rodrigo Duterte will return jurisdiction over his controversial war on drugs to the Philippine National Police if the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) fails to curb the illegal narcotics trade.
Mr. Duterte last month handed over the reins of the campaign to the PDEA due to mounting public criticism of the police over drug-related killings, particularly in several cases involving teenagers. This was believed to have pulled down his trust and approval ratings in surveys.
But at the same time, he warned that PDEA’s spearheading of the campaign could have “grave consequences.”
As the President arrived from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Sunday, he said that he was trying to see if PDEA’s handling of the campaign had been a success.
“I am just trying to gauge the improvement that has been introduced. I have allowed PDEA to have the exclusive [authority],” he said.
“I will see if it will rise [drug addiction]. If it will rise, the police will come back,” Mr. Duterte added.
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