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Duterte allowed the police to resume the anti-drug war more than a month later due to the reported worsening of the drug problem in the country until he again stripped the PNP and gave the lead role to the PDEA in October to "ensure accountability".

"This supersedes the earlier memorandum that designated the PDEA as the sole agency that will deal with the anti-illegal drug operations", Roque told reporters in a news briefing.

"Since the signing of the record of discussion, capability enhancement trainings involving counter-narcotic operations, drug enforcement conferences and seminars, and bilateral meetings between the two organizations were successfully carried out", Aquino added.

The Kapihan is in support to this year's Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week observance with the theme "Listen First".

Speaking before newly appointed government officials in Malacanang, Duterte said the government's fight against illegal drugs will continue despite widespread criticisms over the alleged extrajudicial killings of suspected drug personalities.

Aside from the PNP, other agencies that will support PDEA are the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the Philippine Postal Office (PhilPost).

But PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said Dela Rosa has no one else to blame if there is a rise in rape-slay cases as it falls within PNP's anti-criminality responsibilities.

HRW said the police's return to drug-clearing operations as "wholly unexpected".


PDEA acknowledged that it is "undermanned, under-budget and under-equipped, and there is a need for other law enforcement agencies, particularly the PNP, in the fight against illegal drugs".

The proclamation, which was read by Roque, states: "There has been a notable resurgence in illegal drugs in the Philippines and crimes committed since the PNP and the other law enforcement agencies were directed to yield to the PDEA the conduct of all anti-illegal drugs operations".

The European Union, the United Nations and worldwide human rights groups have criticised Duterte's deadly campaign against illegal drugs. The Philippines has a population of 101 million as of the 2015 survey.

"President Duterte and other high-level government officials have openly advocated for killings, which could amount to criminal responsibility under global law".

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte holds a weapon as he visits troops fighting the extremist Maute group in Marawi, Philippines, on August 24.

The October suspension was the second time Duterte had hauled police off the drug war.

Another 2,290 have been murdered in drug-related crimes, while thousands of other deaths remain unsolved, according to government data.

Duterte said at the time the police force was "corrupt to the core".


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