PNP, NBI welcome PDEA lead in drug war

PNP, NBI welcome PDEA lead in drug war

Aquino admitted that PDEA would have a hard time being efficient as an agency in curbing illegal drugs because it only has 1,100 agents available for these drug operations.

A day after President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (Pdea) as the "sole agency" in charge of the war on drugs, the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday officially terminated the implementation of the Oplan Double Barrel and Oplan Tokhang.

Dela Rosa, however, said the PNP Drug Enforcement Group will still function as the PNP's anti-illegal drugs arm but only to gather intelligence information regarding illegal drugs.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said destroyed through chemical treatment were 228 liters of liquid chemicals composed of xylene chemicals, hydrochloric acid, chloroform, pytridine, benzaldehyde and ethanol worth PHP204,082.

Meanwhile, a lawyer's group on Wednesday filed a petition before the Supreme Court to stop the police from implementing the administration's war on drugs.

Duterte did not explain in his memorandum why he pulled out the PNP from the anti-drug operations but police have lately been under heavy fire for alleged rampant abuses especially in the extra-judicial killings of children and minors that have drawn nationwide anger and indignation.

Police waged an all-out war against illegal drugs upon Duterte's orders.

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The second phase of the anti-illegal drugs campaign was launched in October 2016.

Thousands of suspected drug addicts, mostly from poor communities, have been killed in the anti-narcotics campaigns since July 2016. "Project Double Barrel Alpha" focused on the arrest of high-value targets involved in illegal drug trade.

Last January, Duterte detached the PNP from the war on drugs following the death of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo allegedly in the hands of the policemen, inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The police relaunched the "less bloody" anti-illegal drugs campaign on March 6.

"The PNP shall, at all times, make police visibility as deterrent to illegal drug activities, leaving to the PDEA, however, the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations", the order read.

The drug war was also said to have spawned apps for online games that "are promoting murder, extrajudicial killings, violence, and the war on drugs in the Philippines".

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