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12 October 2017, 07:22 | Erica Roy
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Police waged an all-out war against illegal drugs upon Duterte's orders.
Aquino offered these assurances after President Rodrigo Duterte said the PDEA would be the sole agency in charge of the war on drugs in view of public outrae over alleged police abuses.
He also welcomed the members of the media to join their operations for transparency purposes. The PNP has 190,000 employees.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to be the "sole agency" which will be in-charged of all anti-drug operations of the administration.
Hontiveros said, "I will see to it that the investigation of the cases of extrajudicial killings that happened during the time of PNP-led Tokhang will push through".
He said they have to be optimistic the PDEA can do the job even if the agency has limited manpower. "The fight will be relentless and it will be sustained", he told a television interview. "Duterte must stop and scrap the "Oplan Tokhang" anti-drug campaign".
"We are turning over the task to PDEA".
Duterte on Thursday said he would wait and see how the PDEA performs.
Madrid said police officers may still make arrests if the illegal drug transaction is happening in front of them.
PDEA chief Aaron Aquino said they will ask the help of the PNP in their operations but assured that they will be the lead operating unit. "All of you", he said.
Duterte's directive was issued following allegations of human rights abuses committed by the PNP in the war against drugs.
Duterte's move follows the high-profile August killing of a 17-year-old student by police, which triggered rare public outrage. The same operations also led to the arrest of 113,932.
According to the PNP, the police conducted 76,863 anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to September 26, 2017.
"We are ready, we can do it", Carreon said.
He said another sign of success is that the price for illegal drugs has gone up, because they are harder to get. The order also follows soon after PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa called critics of the current administration's war on drugs "ingrates".
It was suspended in January amid controversy over rogue cops' involvement in the kidnap-slay of a South Korean businessman.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt.
The national police chief disbanded all 18 regional anti-drugs units on Thursday and said the resources would be channeled into fighting other crimes.
The PNP Drug Enforcement Group that Dela Rosa created will continue to function, but only as an intelligence gathering group.
PDEA spokesman Derreck Carreon said the agency had about 2,000 personnel and funds for only 200 new agents next year.
Oplan Double Barrel is the PNP's campaign against high-value drug targets, which resulted in killings of drug suspects.
As of October 12, the PNP reported the arrest of 1,400 high-value targets, and as of August 29, has captured some 107,000 drug suspects. "We still have one month because amendments will be made by November 20 so we will look at what will be done with the budget", he said. "Just because there is a changing of the guard in the government's anti-drug campaign doesn't mean that we've also had a change of heart in our pursuit of truth, justice and accountability".
She noted that the authorities must focus on crimes associated with big drug operations, such as money laundering and extortion.
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