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Philippine police to rejoin anti-drug operations

06 December 2017

Duterte, who assumed the presidency in June a year ago, waged a brutal war against drug syndicates.

It remains unclear whether or not PDEA and PNP will be reviving the erstwhile Oplan Tokhang, which had generated a storm of controversy because of the numerous deaths associated with the police campaign against drug suspects. "If there was an increase in the supply and demand on illegal drugs, that's our problem, but if there was an increase in crime like rape, it is not our problem", Aquino said in late November.

Dela Rosa had claimed that crimes like rape had gone up since the PNP had been benched in the drug war. Duterte said in a speech, referring to human rights groups, Catholic bishops and priests who had urged an end to the killings. "You can do that at any other time but not during my time, during my watch".

"The source of that alleged "clamor" was unlikely to be Manila's urban poor areas, the epicenter of the killing zones linked to the 'drug war, '" said Phelim Kine, deputy director for HRW's Asia Division.

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

Roque said Duterte recognizes the significant strides PDEA has made in the government's anti-illegal campaign.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed a memorandum allowing the Philippine National Police (PNP) to have an "active participation" in his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, Malacañang said on Tuesday, December 5.

The drug enforcement agency took over the reins of the campaign in October amid growing public concern over drug-related killings during police operations.

Many Filipinos continue to support the crackdown and believe Duterte is making society safer. The drug enforcement agency has only a fraction of the manpower of the 190,000-strong police.

More than 12 police officers have been investigated for the killing after the case received global attention, but no one has yet been held to account.

This is the second time the police have been removed, then reinstated to the anti-drug operations. The first suspension took place in January when it was revealed that officers in the anti-drug campaign had murdered a South Korean businessman inside national police headquarters.

Human rights watchdogs said most of the fatalities in the crackdown have been extrajudicial killings committed by cops-an allegation that the government has vehemently and repeatedly denied by insisting that police were only killing in self-defense.

Philippine police to rejoin anti-drug operations