Anti-drug war operations continue under PDEA — Palace

MANILA — While anti-illegal drug campaign Oplan Tokhang has been stopped temporarily, war on drugs will continue under supervision of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), a Palace clarified said on Tuesday.

The impression is that it stopped, no. What happens is the local police, the PNP, has been asked to desist from engaging in anti-drug operations. But the operations will continue under the PDEA,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a media briefing.

When asked if undermanned PDEA alone can carry out fight against illegal drugs, Abella said PDEA “maybe supplemented” by another project that was discussed in a joint PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) command conference last Sunday.

Upon the directive of President Duterte, the PNP has temporarily stopped all PNP anti-drug-related operations.

President Duterte has also ordered the abolition of the police anti-drug units to allow the cleansing and eradication of scalawags and criminals within the PNP.

The abolition of all the PNP anti-drug units was triggered by series of drug-related cases involving policemen, including those who abducted and killed Korean executive Jee Ick Joo inside the PNP’s headquarters at Camp Crame.

Abella, meanwhile, confirmed that President Duterte is amenable to a proposal to revive the Philippine Constabulary, one of the major service commands of the AFP during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

He said the PC revival was mentioned again during the recent joint PNP-AFP command conference.

“The Philippine Constabulary would be composed of gentlemen from the Armed Forces and from the military, which would be different from the PNP,” Abella said.

“So he’s basically saying that they would be in a sense a more trustworthy organization being seen that they have not been…They are not civilian run like the PNP but run by authority under the Armed Forces,” he added.

Abella said the job of the PC would be a more national in scope while the PNP would concentrate at the local level.

He said the PC could supplement PDEA in pursuing the government’s strong war against drug menace.