Duterte wants another year to end drug menace

SunStar file

"The president's memorandum order is likewise in response to a clamor from the public to restore to the PNP and other law enforcement agencies the responsibility of providing active support to the PDEA", Roque told reporters.

The PDEA said it had received reports that some drug pushers chose to be billeted inside hotels to conduct their illegal trade because they believed that no law enforcement authorities would try to arrest them in these establishments where a ban on carrying firearms is strictly being enforced.

In a statement, New York-based Human Rights Watch said although police are required to first consult with the PDEA, the agency would be unable to curb violations committed by cops noting the government's "failure to hold anyone accountable".

The Dangerous Drugs Board shall remain as the policymaking and strategy-formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programmes on drug prevention and control.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday, December 6, said it respects the prerogative of the Duterte administration to bring back the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the campaign against illegal drugs.

On October 10, Duterte removed police from this fight amid criticism from rights activists and United Nations officials, who referred to thousands of drug suspects killed during a national anti-drug campaign.

READ: Memorandum Order 17 signed by Duterte, directing PNP to provide "active support" to Pdea in fighting illegal drugs.

This recent recalling of the police force will mark the second occasion that the police force has been asked to rejoin Duterte's anti-drug campaign after being dismissed. As many as 60 children have been killed in anti-drug operations since June 2016.

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The group is calling for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate crimes against humanity, citing the increasing number of dead children.

"President Duterte and other high-level government officials have openly advocated for killings, which could amount to criminal responsibility under global law".

According to the latest government statistics, 3,967 "drug personalities" died in anti-drug operations between July 2016 and 25 October 2017.

Duterte said the anti-drug agency, which has only 2,000 officers, could not effectively carry out the crackdown.

More than 7,000 people have been killed in the war on drugs, but Duterte still remains popular in The Phillipines, in part because most of the population isn't affected by the crackdown, which is mostly limited to inner cities.

An image of Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte is pictured after it was smeared with paint during a rally against the visit of US President Donald Trump near the US embassy, in Manila, Philippines, on Nov 10, 2017.

Kine said Duterte might have been "emboldened" by Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa's strong criticism of the suspension of police anti-drug activities, as well as the lack of pressure from Southeast Asian countries and the US.

Duterte said at the time the police force was "corrupt to the core".

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