Philippine police ready to resume anti-drug war

Manila, Feb 27 (IANS) The Philippine National Police (PNC) on Monday said they are prepared to resume President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign that was put on hold over graft allegations against the security forces.

PNC chief Ronald Dela Rosa said the progress made during the first seven months of the campaign will be lost if it is not re-launched, Efe news reported.

“We are ready to go back to war if given orders by the President,” he said.

In January, Duterte had temporarily suspended his controversial anti-drug campaign, which led to more than 7,000 drug-related deaths in police operations and clashes with vigilante groups.

Duterte’s decision was aimed at weeding out police corruption, following uproar over the death of a South Korean businessman at the hands of the security forces.

The police chief also claimed that drug trafficking and drug use in the country increased over the last month.

Apart from Dela Rosa, senator Alan Peter Cayetano too had urged for the resumption of the “war of people against drugs” in a statement during a rally in support of Duterte.

In the campaign that led to his victory in the presidential election last year, Duterte had vowed to end drug problems in the Philippines, claiming it was destroying the nation’s younger generations.