PNP chief promises better drug war enforcement

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — As the police once again take the lead in the war against drugs, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa promised improved enforcement.

Upon President Rodrigo Duterte's orders on Tuesday, a new set of officers will be hired for the the new anti-illegal drugs unit of the PNP.

"Marami yang new blood. Yun nga lang lacking in skills, lacking in experience but with a pure heart," Dela Rosa said on Wednesday.

[Translation:There will be new blood. They are lacking in skills and experience, but they have pure hearts.]

He added they will equip the officers with proper skills and knowledge as they prepare for the second wave of the drug war.

Despite this vow, Dela Rosa cannot guarantee there won't be deaths.

"How I wish...we will achieve a drug-free society without bloodshed. But it's very impossible because it's going to be a war. (the) drug lords as they said will not just surrender, will not leave their drug trafficking business just like that," he said.

Prior to the termination of the PNP's war on drugs in January, 2,538 drug suspects were killed and 52,521 people were arrested during legitimate police operations. Meanwhile, more than 4,049 deaths were allegedly caused by vigilante-style killings.

Dela Rosa reiterated, those who resist arrest could be killed.

"If they resist, if they want it to be bloody, we leave it to them. (but) if they do not endanger the lives of our operatives, why (should it be) bloody?" Dela Rosa said.