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Duterte orders PNP, other agencies to rejoin drug war



President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a memorandum ordering the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies to rejoin the government’s war against illegal drugs, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

“This is to announce that the President approved a memorandum order directing the PNP and other law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Customs (BoC), Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost), to resume providing active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing at the Palace.

The new order supersedes an earlier memorandum issued by Duterte on Oct. 10, 2017, directing “NBI, PNP or any and all anti-illegal drugs task force to yield to the PDEA as the sole agency in the conduct of operations of all those who are involved in, or connected to illegal drugs.”

The issuance of the October memorandum aims to pinpoint precise accountability following allegations from some sectors that summary killings of anti-illegal drugs suspects have been perpetrated by law enforcement agencies, including the PNP.

In ordering the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to rejoin anew in the war against illegal drugs, the President noted that while PDEA has made significant strides in the government’s anti-illegal campaign, the agency “has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by lack of resources, specifically agents, and operatives who can penetrate drug-infested areas down to the municipal and barangay levels.”

The memorandum likewise said there has been a notable resurgence of illegal drugs in the Philippines as well as crimes committed since the PNP and the other law enforcement agencies yielded to PDEA the conduct of all anti-illegal drugs operations.

“The President’s memorandum order is likewise in response to a clamor from the public to restore to the PNP and other law enforcement agencies the responsibility of providing active support to the PDEA on the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,” Roque said.

But while PNP and other law enforcement agencies will provide active support in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, PDEA shall continue to be the overall lead agency in the drug war.

PDEA, as chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, shall coordinate all government efforts.

Jose Cielito Reganit /PNA  

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