Updated 11:12 AM PHT Fri, February 3, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — After relieving the police of anti-drug duties, President Rodrigo Duterte now also decides to bar members of the investigation bureau from carrying out illegal drug operations.
Duterte, who was in Davao City on Thursday for a water district convention, said no policeman in the entire country would be enforcing illegal drug laws — and this goes the same for members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
"Kasi nawalan na ako ng tiwala sa inyo [Because I have lost my trust in you]," the President said, on the heels of a Korean kidnap-slay case where some "assets" of the Bureau had been implicated.
The President also reminded NBI chief Dante Gierran about his promise when he was appointed that he would go after erring personnel.
With the national police and the NBI on the sidelines, Duterte said his option now would be to tap the military to help out the sole agency that would lead and carry out his anti-drug crusade: the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
He said he was already working on a formal order that would authorize members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to carry out arrests in line with the anti-drug war.
Two days earlier, the President had told soldiers that he'd be ordering them to arrest corrupt policemen involved in the illegal drug trade. He cited the ongoing state of national emergency due to lawlessness as justification for the military's help in the drug war.
And as is typical of the President's impromptu speeches, he again lashed out at critics harping on human rights violations in the campaign against illegal drugs.
"And you bleed for those son of a bi---. [How many?] 3,000. I will kill more if only to get rid of drugs."
Meanwhile, Duterte also mentioned the recent ceasefire pullout of communist rebels. He said decisions on the matter were consulted with the AFP. He added that he could not release 400 political prisoners because doing so would be like granting amnesty — which was usually done after a successful conclusion of peace talks.
CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.