Duterte gives PDEA sole authority to conduct anti-drug ops

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In a televised speech on Thursday, Duterte read a memorandum that removes police from the drug war and places the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in charge, then launched a curse-laden tirade at foreign critics of a campaign that has killed thousands of Filipinos.

MANILA- The Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's order to let the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) lead his anti-narcotics campaign.

PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said the agency was up to the task.

However the European Union parliament issued a resolution past year expressing concern over the "extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations" in the drug war.

At that time, Duterte stripped the PNP and the NBI of the authority to conduct anti-illegal drug operations and designated the PDEA-backed by the Army- to continue the campaign. Police say armed suspects resisted arrest in every one of those cases and they deny allegations victims were executed. "If the crime is being committed in our presence and we have personal knowledge that a crime is being committed or is about to be committed we will effect the arrest", Madrid said.

Last January, Duterte detached the PNP from the war on drugs following the death of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo allegedly in the hands of the policemen, inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

"The EU and the Philippines work constructively and productively together in a close partnership in many contexts and areas, including, of course, in the United Nations context", the statement said.

Police disbanded all 18 regional anti-drugs units on Thursday.

"What happened is the street distribution of networks of drugs lords already degraded so we now target higher echelons of the syndicates, as well as their protectors in government", he added. The petition stated that "the PNP's "War on Drugs" as operationalized under CMC 16-2016 violates the right to life, to due process of law, to be presumed innocent, and to a fair trial by expressly authorizing the summary killing of suspected drug offenders in the guise of "neutralizing" or "negating" them".

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