Monday, 11 December, 2017

PNP to resume 'Oplan Tokhang,' 'Oplan Double Barrel' anti-drug ops

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino
Judith Alexander | 07 December, 2017, 03:10

This was the call made by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and Negros Oriental Drug Abuse Prevention Council (NORDAPC) in a Kapihan sa PIA forum recently.

"There has been a notable resurgence in illegal drug activities and crimes since the PNP and other law enforcement agencies were directed to leave to the PDEA the conduct of all anti-illegal campaigns and operations", Roque said.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque explained that "active support" means the PNP can "participate" in the campaign and that it will have to "consult" the PDEA on anti-drug operations.

"From the time it was given the sole responsibility in the conduct of anti-drug operations, PDEA conducted a total of 2,161 anti-drug operations from October 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017 that resulted in the arrest of 750 drug personalities and seizure of P104.10 million worth of illegal drugs".

However, he said PDEA has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by lack of resources, specifically agents and operatives who can penetrate drug-infected areas down to the municipal and village levels.

The Philippines' president, Rodrigo Duterte, has told human rights groups criticising his deadly anti-drug war to "go to hell" after ordering police back to the frontlines of the crackdown.

Officials said slain drug suspects had put up violent resistance.

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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.

READ: Memorandum Order 17 signed by Duterte, directing PNP to provide "active support" to Pdea in fighting illegal drugs. "We believe the "war on drugs" meets the threshold of crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute, and worldwide pressure is needed to persuade the Philippine authorities to change course". The decision comes close to two months since he barred the Philippine National Police from drug operations after the deaths of teenage suspects in police operations.

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. "May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings!" the statement said.

But in October he announced that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency would replace the police in the drug war following mounting public opposition, including rare street protests, that were triggered by officers allegedly murdering three teenagers.

Duterte said he would continue to ignore criticism from human rights groups over his war on drugs, telling them in jest to buy Valium.

The PDEA welcomed the return of the PNP into the antidrug operations as ordered by the President.

At the time of demoting the PNP, Duterte described the force as being "corrupt to the core".

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