Don't miss




Ireland: The forgotten Angels of Tuam

Read more


S.Africa's former President Zuma to face corruption charges

Read more


'60 Minutes' to air interview with porn actress aledging affair with Trump

Read more


In Africa, French is more than a common language

Read more


Poisoned Relations: UK sanctions Russia over nerve agent attack

Read more


Behind the scenes at France's majestic Chantilly castle

Read more

#THE 51%

#MeToo in South Korea

Read more


Russia's opposition weakened as Putin looks set for fourth term

Read more


Fantasy novelist Robin Hobb among guests at France's biggest book fair

Read more


Philippines' Duterte suspends 'corrupt to the core' police from drug war

© NOEL CELIS / POOL / AFP | Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa (R) during a press conference at the Malacanang palace in Manila on January 30, 2017


Latest update : 2017-02-01

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he had ordered all police to stop prosecuting his deadly war on drugs as he sought to cleanse the force of widespread corruption.

However the crackdown, which has seen more than 6,000 people killed in seven months, was set to continue, with Duterte ordering the military and a drug enforcement agency under his office to carry on.

"I have ordered the police to stop all operations," Duterte said during a speech to present military awards at the presidential palace.

"No policemen in this country anywhere is allowed to enforce laws related to the drug campaign."

Duterte's comments came a day after he described the police force as "corrupt to the core", following a series of scandals in which officers were accused of using the drug war as cover for murder, kidnapping, robbery and extortion.

Duterte said then he planned to "cleanse" the police force before allowing it to return to the drug war frontlines, while in the meantime the drug enforcement agency would take the lead with the support of the military.

Duterte also on Monday extended the timeframe for his drug war until the end of his term in 2022. Previously he had imposed a deadline of March this year.

Duterte won presidential elections last year after promising to eradicate drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people.

Philippine police killings are 'based on reward'

Since then, police have reported killing more than 2,550 people and nearly 4,000 others have died in unexplained circumstances, according to official figures.

Cascading scandals

Duterte had previously been unrepentant in the face of widespread international criticism of the drug war, including accusations the police were murdering people for their own gain and organising anonymous vigilante death squads.

He repeatedly promised to shield police from prosecution if they were charged with murder for killing in the drug war.

But the cascading number of scandals surrounding the police in recent weeks forced Duterte to act.

In one of the highest-profile incidents, anti-drug officers allegedly kidnapped a South Korean businessman, then murdered him inside the national police headquarters as part of an extortion racket.

Amnesty International said it expected the killings to continue regardless of Duterte's decision to pull police off the drug war.

"Even as the police claim to have halted their operations, President Duterte has pledged to continue his so-called 'war on drugs'," its crisis response director Tirana Hassan said in a statement.

"These contradictory statements offer little hope that the wave of extrajudicial executions that has claimed more than a thousand lives a month will end."

Duterte, who has previously threatened to impose martial law, said on Monday he intended for soldiers to take over some of the police duties in the drug war.

However it remained unclear to what extent the military would become involved.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella also said Duterte was considering re-establishing the police constabulary, a paramilitary force used by dictator Ferdinand Marcos to arrest and torture his critics.

He was toppled in 1986 and the newly democratic government of Corazon Aquino disbanded the constabulary in 1991 because of its abysmal human rights record.

"It's not yet official but as far as I know the Philippine constabulary may be reactivated," Abella told reporters.


Date created : 2017-02-01


    Miss France is crowned Miss Universe

    Read more


    More than 150 escape in Philippines prison break after gunmen storm jail

    Read more


    Philippines watchdog to investigate Duterte's killing brag

    Read more