Only select PNP units will conduct operations vs illegal drugs

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Duterte stood the police down from his campaign less than two months ago in response to rising opposition.

"Keeping the youth well-informed about the dangers of illegal drugs and with parents' positive relationship with them may be helpful and effective to prevent drug abuse or for them to stay away from prohibited drugs", Martinez said.

Duterte signed on October 10 a memorandum stripping the PNP of its lead role in the anti-narcotics campaign after some of its personnel were implicated in the killing of suspected drug offenders.

Duterte said he would continue to ignore criticism from human rights groups over his war on drugs, telling them in jest to buy Valium.

"I do not want Filipinos to be turned into fools during my time. You can do that at any other time but not during my time, during my watch", he said.

Asked if the PDEA is doing a better job when it comes to the drug war, De Guia answered: "There were fewer reported deaths when PDEA was taking the lead in the campaign against drugs and it also highlights that RA 9165 really puts PDEA at the forefront of implementing RA 9165".

The war on drugs waged by Rodrigo Duterte is controversial because of its exceptionally high death toll, concerns that innocent people have been killed and a sense that the president and authorities are acting with impunity.

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On October 12, the PNP suspended its anti-drug operations. They also deny links to at least 2,000 unsolved street killings of drug users.

But he reinstated them five weeks later, arguing that drugs were pouring back to the streets, but then pulled them off the campaign again in October and made the PDEA the sole agency in charge of the anti-drug campaign.

Critics at home and overseas say he is orchestrating a campaign of extrajudicial mass murder, carried out by corrupt police and hired vigilantes.

Rodrigo Duterte's instructions "to resume providing active support" to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency indicate an about-face on his previous decisions related to the fight against narcotics.

The proclamation, which was read by Roque, states: "There has been a notable resurgence in illegal drugs in the Philippines and crimes committed since the PNP and the other law enforcement agencies were directed to yield to the PDEA the conduct of all anti-illegal drugs operations".

Duterte has spurred worldwide alarm over the bloody anti-drug campaign, which was a campaign promise and a hallmark of his three-decade political career. "The country's judiciary and police have proven themselves both unwilling and unable to hold the killers in the "war on drugs" to account", James Gomez, Amnesty International's Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a news release. "It is doable by anybody, with no effort at all", Duterte said.

In January he did the same after it was revealed that officers involved in the anti-drug campaign murdered a South Korean businessmen inside national police headquarters.

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