Duterte orders military to arrest bad cops, especially those involved in drugs
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered on Tuesday the military to arrest police scalawags, particularly those involved in illegal drugs.
This was after Duterte directed the police to stop all anti-drug operations following the murder of South Korean businessman, Jee Ick-joo, allegedly at the hands of the rogue policemen.
"Let me reorganize the enforcement by the police on drugs. In the meantime, they would be arrested and I will order you to arrest them," Duterte told the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the oath taking of 66 newly-promoted generals in Malacanang.
With the Philippines under a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence, Duterte said this justifies the "extra duties" of the military.
"No policemen in this country anywhere is allowed to enforce laws related to the drug campaign," Duterte said.
He noted these rogue policemen apparently used illegal warrants of arrest by just changing the name of person supposedly to be arrested.
He indicated that Jee was a victim of illegal warrant of arrest when he was kidnapped by the rogue cops in the guise of "tokhang," a government's anti-illegal drug campaign.
"I had to explain again and again. I had to apologize almost to every Korean who would come here, to the Ambassador and to the (Korean) people," he said.
Duterte said he asked Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo to go to South Korea to "make a good apology."
According to him, the South Koreans really felt bad about the report Jee's ashes were flushed into the toilet bowl.
"The most disrespectful of all, the most painful is flushing down the drain in the toilet bowl (Jee's ashes). They're hurt," he said, adding he could also be hurt if that would happen to him.
Panelo told reporters that he would leave for South Korea on Wednesday to attend an international forum.
Since he would be going to Seoul, the president ordered him to meet with South Korean officials to formally make an apology for what had happened to Jee, who was reportedly strangled to death inside the police Camp Crame headquarters.
Duterte earlier said that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency would be the top agency now that would implement the war on drugs.
Some 6,000 policemen were allegedly into illegal drug operations, he said.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., in an interview in Malacanang after the oath taking ceremony, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines might create a special task force for the illegal drug campaign.
"You cannot employ the whole armed forces in the anti-drugs. It will create units...it can be a special task force," he said.
In an earlier press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Philippine Constabulary could be revived to supplement the PDEA in the anti-drug campaign. Celerina Monte/DMS