Duterte eyes PNP return to drug war

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency welcomes the return of the Philippine National Police as the lead agency in the government's campaign against illegal drugs, admitting that it did not have enough resources to fight the drug problem.

The PDEA conducted 1,343 anti-illegal drug operations and seized P53 million worth of illegal drugs in a month despite the agency being undermanned, under-budgeted, and under-equipped, Aquino said.

"What he [President Rodrigo Duterte] said was, "to prevent the problem from worsening" ... the drug problem", presidential spokesman Harry Roque told reporters. That's the key takeaway from a speech Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made today in which he warned that, "Whether I like it or not, I have to return that [anti-drugs operation] power to the police", said Phelim Kine, deputy director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch.

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Duterte on Tuesday said he is determined to bring back to the police the helm on the anti-drug operations, reiterating that the PNP should be involved in the drug war to dismantle the narcotics apparatus and to avoid the proliferation of shabu in the country.

"We are ready", PNP Spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said in a text message to Rappler.

"As of now, just to parry, nilagay ko muna sa PDEA". They also deny links to at least 2,000 mysterious street killings of drug users.Roque said Duterte knew the police had flaws and would not tolerate abuses, but he still believed in them.He suspended police in January and reinstated them five weeks later, arguing that drugs were pouring back to the streets.It is unclear why he removed them again on October 11.

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By returning the drug war back to the PNP, Roque said, the President did acknowledge that the PNP "is not a flawless organization".

"We are ready", he said in another text message.

The fiery leader, who rights groups say may be orchestrating a crime against humanity with his bloody anti-drugs campaign, said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) with 2,000 officers was incapable of doing the job.

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Roque said Duterte must not be satisfied with the PDEA in the campaign.

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