President Rodrigo Duterte orders the police officers facing various charges to be detailed in Basilan for two years during their presentation to the President in Malacañang on February 7, 2017. The President gave the errant police officers 15 days to decide whether to resign or accept their re-assignment in Basilan. Marcelino Pascua/Presidential Photo


Duterte brings back PNP to war on drugs
Rosette Adel ( - December 5, 2017 - 8:50am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 1 5:11 p.m.) — President Rodrigo Duterte is bringing back the Philippine National Police to the war on drugs, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Roque said Tuesday that the president has signed a memorandum directing the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to provide “active support” to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

He, however, clarified that PDEA is still the lead agency in the crackdown.

"Now, this supersedes the earlier memorandum that designated the PDEA as the sole agency that will deal with the anti-illegal drug operations. Take note though that the language of the memorandum is that they will resume, I quote, 'They will resume, providing active support in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,'" Roque said.
"Meaning, PDEA remains the lead but the PNP will again participate in the anti-illegal drug operations," he added.

Roque said the resumption of Oplan Tokhang is not included in the signed document. He also stressed that PDEA should not be deprived of its right to lead the campaign.

“If Tokhang will be implemented by the PNP, I supposed that they will have coordination with PDEA,” Roque said.

“That is the marching order of the president,” he added.

Roque said he is not sure whether there would be a resumption of Oplan Tokhang. He also stressed that PDEA should not be deprived of its right to lead the campaign.



Last October 11, Duterte has designated PDEA as the “sole agency” in charge of the war on drugs. This was after the police force drew flak over alleged police abuse in the continuing crackdown.

The president last November 21 expressed that he was bent on bringing the cops back in the campaign against drugs accused of killing thousands of mostly urban poor Filipinos.

PDEA earlier welcomed the possible return of the PNP as the lead agency in the war on drugs. It admitted to not having enough resources to fight the drug problem.

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