Duterte allows some police to join drug war to led by PDEA
President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed some members of the Philippine National Police to join what many local government units described as a flagging anti-drug war but stressed that they should be under the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Duterte said he ordered Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa to recruit young patriotic men who could help the government on its war on drugs.
In an interview in Malacanang on Tuesday, he said he made the directive during the joint police and military command conference on Monday.
Asked when "tokhang" would be resumed, Duterte said, "I will leave it to the police to decide. If that's the best way to do it, fine."
"I have ordered Bato (Dela Rosa) to recruit young men in the PNP imbued with the fervor of patriotism to be the members only of the task forces. Every station should have one, but they should be well chosen, those who do not have cases, no story of corruption," he said.
Duterte said "it's going to be a PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency)-supervised whether done by the military or the police." "There should always be PDEA," he said.
The PDEA and the Armed Forces of the Philippines signed a memorandum of agreement on Tuesday to coordinate their efforts to fight illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa, in an interview with reporters in Cavite, said “the general sentiment of local government units is that street level pushing has returned.”
“They are so brazen. They sell it openly. They brag about it. Just wait when we return,” said Dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa said: “Just be ready, ready get set go… We will be informed if we will go back to the war on drugs. We will be informed in due time, let’s just wait,” he said.
On January 30, Duterte removed recently the PNP as the lead agency in the war on drugs through "tokhang," after some rogue policemen were dragged into the murder of a South Korean businessman.
He said deploying young policemen would depend on the size of the city or municipality is.
Duterte added alleged erring policemen who refuse to be assigned in Basilan province would undergo summary dismissal.
But he warned those who would be dismissed they would be monitored by a "squad" to ensure they would not engage in any illegal activity.
"I will not spare you...you will die first...you will be special targets...do not be surprised if they are killed one by one," Duterte said.
Of the nearly 300 alleged erring policemen, only a few of them followed Duterte's order that they would be deployed to Basilan, a hotbed of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group. Celerina Monte, Robina Asido/DMS