President Duterte has decided to “call back” the policemen to the war on illegal drugs amid the reported rise in drug activities since suspending them from the operations.
The President however made clear that not all policemen will be asked to rejoin the government’s intensified anti-drug campaign. Only a select number of patriotic and corrupt-free cops will be recruited to join anti-drug task forces in every police station, according to the President.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will also continue to supervise government’s anti-illegal drug operations participated by the police and the military, Duterte said.
“I have ordered (Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald) Bato (dela Rosa) to recruit young men in the PNP who are imbued with the fervor of patriotism to be the members only of the mga task forces. Every station should have one, yung mga piling-pili, yung mga walang kaso, walang history ng corruption,” Duterte said in a Palace press conference.
Duterte explained that he decided to bring back the PNP in the anti-drug efforts due to lack of manpower. He said the government was battling with communist rebels while addressing the problems of terrorism and drugs in Mindanao.
“I have to do it because kulang ako ng tao…I have to call back the police to do the job most of the time sa drugs.
Hindi lahat,” he said.
“It’s going to be a PDEA supervised, whether done by the military or the police. There should always be a PDEA from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency who will be supervising everything,” he said.
Asked if this is considered the resumption of the PNP’s “Tokhang” operations, Duterte said: “I will leave to the police to decide. If that’s the best way to do it, fine.”
On how soon the cops can return to the anti-drug efforts, Duterte admitted that this might take a long time since “it is not easy to look for honest men.”
The President issued the directive during the command conference with the military and police officials in Malacañang last Monday.
Duterte earlier said there has been an increase in drug activities by 20 percent since he suspended the policemen from the anti-drug operations last month. The policemen were previously suspended from carrying out anti-terror operations after some members were implicated in the killing of a South Korean businessman in the guise of anti-drug raid.
Meantime, the President said he and other ordinary citizens could make a valid arrest any individual involved in illegal drugs.
Duterte said if the drug suspects tries to resist arrest, he would kill the person. “I will kill you if I think that my life is in danger in arresting you for a valid cause because you are committing crime in my presence,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)