PDEA may replace PNP as lead agency in war on drugs – Duterte
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said stripping the Philippine National Police of its leading role in the war on drugs was “again an option” due to continued abuses by police officers, including the killing of Grade 12 student Kian Loyd delos Santos in Caloocan City on Aug. 16.
Mr. Duterte said the suggestion of Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, the incoming head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), that the agency and not the PNP should wage the war on drugs was a course of action that was under consideration again.
“That is an option again. Remember that I suspended police operations down to the station level — the precincts. There were many abuses and the human rights [activists] were noisy so I said, ‘OK.’ So, it was selective,” he told reporters here.
Mr. Duterte suspended the campaign in January after narcs were linked to the kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo inside PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
He dismantled the PNP narcotics unit and gave the job to PDEA.
The PNP, however, rejoined the campaign in early March because the drug menace reportedly became resurgent.
Rogue cops identified
“My problem isn’t just those drugs. There are policemen who kidnap, purportedly it is a drug operation, and then they will ask for money, and then the deed of sale of your house,” Mr. Duterte said.
“Those policemen have been identified. They will be out of the service soon,” he added.
Mr. Duterte also cited the killing of Delos Santos, which drew widespread public anger.
The police sought to picture the 17-year-old as a drug runner who was killed after he fired at the arresting officers.
Mr. Duterte described incoming PDEA chief Aquino as an “upright” law enforcer.
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