Duterte worried drug war could worsen if PNP doesn’t assume lead role — Roque

MANILA, Nov 23 (Mabuhay) — There is a “very strong likelihood” that the lead role in the war on drugs will be returned to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Malacañang said Thursday, just more than a month after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was tasked as the sole agency to carry out drug operations.

At a press conference, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte “must not be satisfied” with PDEA.

Duterte on Wednesday said he would eventually return his administration’s war on drugs to the PNP from PDEA.

“As of now, just to parry, nilagay ko muna sa PDEA. Whether I like it or not, I have to return that power to the police because surely it will increase the [drug] activity,” Duterte said.

Roque said that with the statements of Duterte, the chief executive has effectively “manifested” his decision.

“That’s the latest pronouncement. There is now a very strong likelihood that it will be returned to the PNP,” Roque said.

“He does not want the problem to worsen…I don’t know if a formal directive has been issued. Effectively, he has manifested already a decision to return it to the PNP,” he said.

Asked whether Duterte’s new directive was a result of his assessment of PDEA’s performane, Roque said: “He must not be satisfised. He wants more.”

“Para hindi na lumala pa,” he added. (MNS)

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