Duterte creates inter-agency body vs. drugs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — More government agencies are focusing on the country's war on drugs.

President Rodrigo Duterte has created the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD), composed of 21 government entities that shall spearhead the fight against illegal drugs.

According to Executive Order No. 15, which Duterte signed on Monday, the ICAD shall "ensure the effective conduct of anti-illegal drug operations and arrest of high-value drug personalities down to the street-level peddlers and users." CNN Philippines obtained a copy of the EO on Friday.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is mandated to lead the ICAD. The rest of the member departments and agencies are:

  • Department of Justice
  • Department of the Interior and Local Government
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development
  • Department of Trade and Industry
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of National Defense
  • Dangerous Drugs Board
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
  • Philippine Information Agency
  • Public Attorney's Office
  • Office of the Solicitor General
  • Philippine Coast Guard
  • Philippine National Police
  • National Bureau of Investigation
  • Bureau of Customs
  • Bureau of Immigration
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines
  • Anti-Money Laundering Council

They will be divided into four clusters: Environment, Justice, Advocacy, and Rehabilitation and Reintegration, which shall carry out anti-drug operations, prosecute drug cases, conduct a nationwide advocacy campaign, and implement drug rehabilitation programs.

Duterte's latest EO also orders the ICAD to establish the National Anti-illegal Drug Task Force which shall conduct sustained anti-illegal drug operations.

The Task Force shall be composed of members of law enforcement agencies, which will be led by a commander appointed by the President.

The EO shall be implemented once it is published in a newspaper with general circulation.

 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) recently relaunched its "Oplan Tokhang" with Chief Ronald dela Rosa's promise of a "less bloody" anti-drug campaign. The PNP also said it will authorize select policemen to conduct the operations.

As of Saturday, 13 drug suspects were killed in anti-drug police operations, just five days after the police resumed its drug war.

More than 2,500 were killed during police operations in the previous campaign. Including vigilante killings, the number of deaths can reach around 7,000.

Duterte ordered the temporary suspension of the police's drug war after several cops got involved in the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo right inside the police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.