President Rodrigo Duterte asked for another year as extension to his war against illegal drugs.
“Wala akong pakialam basta sabi ko sa droga, I hope to finish the problem maybe give me just another year,” the President said on December 6 during the oath-taking of his appointees and officers from private organizations.
He also noted the return of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the anti-drug campaign led by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Duterte’s remarks came after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on December 5 that the PNP will return to its operations against drugs to assist PDEA.
“The first, and I quote, is directing the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, to resume, providing active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,” Roque announced.
“Now, this supersedes the earlier memorandum that designated the PDEA as the sole agency that will deal with the anti-illegal drug operations… Meaning, PDEA remains the lead but the PNP will again participate in the anti-illegal drug operations,” he added.
Aside from the PNP, other agencies will also resume their operations against illegal drugs, including the National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Philippine Postal Corporation.
Roque revealed that the President returned the PNP to the drug war due to PDEA’s lack of resources and public call for the police’s resumption of their operations.
With PDEA as the lead agency in the campaign, the PNP needs to ask for PDEA for clearance to revive Oplan Tokhang.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said that the police will conduct anti-drug operations with body cameras.
“PNP will utilize body cameras; will put more focus in internal cleansing; allow other sectors to join/witness the ops for transparency,” Carlos said.
In October, President Duterte ordered PDEA as the only agency to mount his anti-drug war.
During the campaign, Duterte promised to solve the illegal drug problem in the country within three to six months, but he asked for an extension of six months during the first few months of his presidency.
In August 2017, he remarked that the drug woes cannot be solved within one term.