Philippine police kill 145 key suspects in drug war

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A DAY after President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go-ahead to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to lead his administration's war on drugs, the anti-narcotics body set out to destroy more than P10 million worth of seized ingredients and equipment used in making illegal drugs in Valenzuela City.

Carlos said the PNP's Drug Enforcement Group, a national operational support unit with the mission and function to be the lead unit in police anti-drug operations, remains.

Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded are among the programs that have been stopped following Dela Rosa's order, according to a report from radio dzMM.

Director Camilo Cascolan, PNP Directorate for Operations chief, said personnel assigned with the DEUs will be converted to detectives and police intelligence operatives "responsible for detection, prevention and solution of street crimes".

The memorandum was addressed to the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other government agencies involved in the war on drugs.

PNP deputy spokesperson Superintendent Vimelee Madrid said the PNP's order was in adherence to the President's order designating PDEA as the sole agency for government's drugs war.

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The drug war was criticized by the administration and opposition lawmakers, the United Nations, and local and worldwide human rights groups for alleged extrajudicial killings supposedly committed by police officers.

It was suspended in January amid controversy over rogue cops' involvement in the kidnap-slay of a South Korean businessman.

Dela Rosa immediately dismantled the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group and created the Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), which consists of police officers who underwent intense screening to ensure they are deserving of the job.

Duterte did not explain in his memorandum why he pulled out the PNP from the anti-drug operations but police have lately been under heavy fire for alleged rampant abuses especially in the extra-judicial killings of children and minors that have drawn nationwide anger and indignation. "I have only more than a thousands of agents", added Aquino who, on Sunday, led a raid that resulted in the arrest of a mayor of Sarangani province in Mindanao, described the by PDEA as a "drug lord".

"If there is good intelligence information, they will pass them to PDEA", he said.