Duterte pulls police off drugs crackdown

By Neil Jerome Morales

Dionardo Carlos said the PNP will follow the President's order and will focus instead on addressing crimes and on cleansing its ranks.

At that time, Duterte stripped the PNP and the NBI of the authority to conduct anti-illegal drug operations and designated the PDEA-backed by the Army- to continue the campaign.

"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.

"In other words, there is now an elevation of the campaign against illegal drugs and so, PDEA has now widened its scope", Abella said.

Duterte, who easily won the race to Malacañang a year ago on a brutal law-and-order platform, has stoked worldwide alarm for activating his fierce anti-drug campaign. "There will be a lot of obstacles and challenges along the way, but I can assure the public that we can overcome this problem", Aquino said.

Since July 1, 2016, only 28 drug personalities died during PDEA's operations.

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On February 27, the President allowed the PNP a limited participation in the anti-drug campaign through smaller task forces.

PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon made the assurance to quash fears that the agency would resort to summary executions against surrendering drug suspects. "The fight will be relentless, and it will be sustained", Carreon said in an interview.

Assorted laboratory equipment with an estimated value of PHP1,020,744 that were confiscated during anti-drug operations were smashed to prevent them from being used again.

All these were brought to the Green Planet Management, Incorporated (GPMI), a treatment plant facility in Barangay (village) Punturin, Valenzuela City accredited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Atty. Nilo Geonzon, who represented the event's guest of honor and speaker, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, led the destruction ceremony of the chemicals and non-drug evidence recently ordered by the court to be destroyed.

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