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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte © REUTERS/ Kim Kyung-Hoon

FOLLOWING the recent steep dive of the public’s satisfaction and trust rating of President Rodrigo Duterte due to the mounting casualties of his war on drugs, the president on Thursday reluctantly relieved the Philippine National Police of its lead role in that brutal campaign and designated the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as its replacement.

While sarcastically expressing hope that he would satisfy “bleeding hearts,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang that he issued a memorandum dated October 10, directing the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Postal Office (PPO); among others, “to leave to the PDEA, as sole agency, the conduct of all campaigns and operations against all those who, directly or indirectly, and in whatever manner or capacity, are involved in or connected with illegal drugs.”

O, diyan tayo. Walang patay so walang encounter ‘yan. So better for the bleeding hearts and the media, I hope I will satisfy you. So kung ang PDEA konti lang ang patay o ‘di konti lang rin mamatay doon sa kabila. Isa lang. Wounded-in-action, dalawa. This is better or ‘betterer,’ do you say?” Duterte said.

At the same time, Duterte said he directed the same agencies to relay to the PDEA all information or data they may have or receive concerning illegal drugs.

“All information/data received by the NBI, PNP, AFP, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Office, and all other agencies or any and all ad hoc anti-drug task forces shall forthwith be relayed, delivered, or brought to the attention of the PDEA for its appropriate action”

Duterte, however, added that “the PNP shall, at all times, maintain police visibility, as a deterrent to illegal drug activities leaving to the PDEA, however, the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations as aforestated.”

“When something not to your liking is happening, do not look at me. Praise the bleeding hearts and all. Kasi ginawa ko na talaga lahat ang magagawa ko, ito na. And some of the noted writers say, ‘Act now,’” he added.

Duterte’s memorandum echoes the provisions of Republic Act 9165 (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) which have designated the PDEA, since its creation, to be the sole government agency responsible for enforcing the anti-illegal drugs laws.

Image © rappler.com

Second page of Duterte’s memorandum Image © rappler.com

 

 

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