President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes a souvenir photo with the Special Operation Command, Philippine Army at Fort Magsaysay on late Wednesday.
He emphasized that the lead agency in the campaign did not matter for as long as they were united in the fight against illegal drugs in the country.
"But as of now, just to parry, I placed it under PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency). Whether I like it or not, I have to return that power to the police because surely, it will increase the activity of the (inaudible)", he said.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the possibility of the PNP returning to the drug campaign is strong since it has been announced by the President.
Duterte tasked PDEA on October 10 to be the sole agency implementing the government's war on drugs, after taking the PNP off the campaign following the controversial killings of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz in separate operations by Caloocan policemen in August. On November 22, however, President Duterte said in a national speech that he was considering revising that decision.
Meanwhile, Carlos said the PNP's oversight committee on the anti-narcotics campaign will discuss their return on a meeting on Thursday.
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"I think we need to accept what the President has said. Effectively, he has manifested already a decision to return it to the PNP", Roque said.
What the Philippines needs is not an expansion of the murderous 'war on drugs, ' led by police who show no sign of reform, but a public health-based drug policy that respects human rights and the rule of law. "He must not be satisfied".
The PNP said that they are ready to retake the drug campaign.
"We will follow the directive of the President, Chief Executive, and Commander-in-Chief", Carlos added.
The PDEA has welcomed Duterte's decision to bring back the PNP in the drug war but hoped that the PNP would change their guidelines.
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