No more 'Oplan Tokhang': Police suspends all anti-drug operations

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Human rights organizations allege the bloody drug war has killed 13,000 people, while Phillipinne authorities say 3,850 have been killed in police operations while 2,290 have been killed by unknown assassins.

According to a memorandum signed by the President on Tuesday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will henceforth be the sole agency that can conduct anti-illegal drug operations pursuant to RA No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

"We are turning over the taks to PDEA". We'll just look for other things to work on, just not drugs for now, " said PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa.

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

The Philippine National Police (PNP) suspended its controversial anti-drug operations on Thursday.

He said PDEA will operate against high-value targets, especially those who are included in Duterte's narcolist and those involved in street level pushing.

"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. "There will be a lot of obstacles and challenges along the way, but I can assure the public that we can overcome this problem", Aquino said.

Dela Rosa said he's frustrated that the PNP can't sustain the gains it has achieved in the fight against illegal drugs but stressed he doesn't harbor ill feelings toward Duterte.

"PDEA will also lead in the establishing a broad anti-drug coalition, working with agencies - LGUs (local government units), civil society, the Church, business, academe and media to push prevention and rehabilitation initiatives", he added.

Carlos however assured that police will be ready to provide support to the PDEA should the agency need it. Its proposed budget allocation for 2018 is P2.6 billion compared to P131.2 billion for the PNP, which has 175,000 men. "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.

"We follow the procedures, we don't want an encounter but we also have to protect ourselves if drug suspects resist and fight back", he said.