Duterte eyes PNP’s return to drug war

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FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija: President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday that he was considering the possible return of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the driver’s seat of the government’s war against illegal drugs.

“As of now, just to parry, nilagay ko sa (I gave it to) PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency). Whether I like it or not, I have to return that power to the police because surely it will increase the activity [drugs],” Duterte said in a speech before government troops here.

The President ordered the pullout of the police force from the frontline of the drug war and designated PDEA the sole authority to conduct anti-drug operations in the country after foreign and local groups criticized the alleged soaring extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses.

PDEA has about 2,000 officers compared with the more than 100,000 police personnel.

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