The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte testing PDEA’s capability to handle solely drug war in 6 months

October 20, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte indicated on Friday he would be giving the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency six months if it could solely handle the campaign against illegal drugs in the country.
In a speech in Cagayan de Oro City, Duterte warned if the drug problem deteriorates resulting to other crimes, like rape perpetrated by drug suspects, he would be the one to "pull the trigger."
"I told the policemen, 'don't meddle. Soldiers, don't interfere. Customs, police, don't meddle, only PDEA.' Okay, let's see six months from now," he said.
Duterte issued last week a memorandum, ordering the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other concerned agencies to withdraw from the anti-drug operations and allow only PDEA to do the campaign under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Critics of the anti-drug war have said thousands of drug suspects had been killed in the police anti-drug operations, while no one or only one was slain in the PDEA operations.
Duterte noted that PDEA has only about 2,000 agents.
He admitted that he ordered PDEA to be the sole and lead agency in the war on drugs to show the world that his administration is opposed to extrajudicial killings. "I did not order the police to do that (extrajudicial killings)," he said.
But if the drug problem worsens, he dared the critics to resolve it.
"If you (drug addicts) rape a child, rape a woman, son of a bitch. If they (critics) don't want the police (to do the operation), I'm here, I'll be the one to shoot. It's true. If nobody would dare it, I will pull the trigger," Duterte said. Celerina Monte/DMS