Philippines to suspend drug war to clean up 'corrupt' police

MANILA Philippine police are suspending their anti-narcotics operation until they have cleansed their ranks of "scalawags", the chief of the force said on Monday, following the killing of a South Korean businessmen by rogue officers.

THE Philippine National Police's (PNP) plan to dissolve its anti-drugs units over the recent killing of a South Korean businessman has been met with disdain and labelled as "nothing less than an empty public relations gesture" by global rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The 160,000-strong Philippine National Police has been shaken by a scandal over the kidnapping and slaying a year ago of a South Korean man, allegedly by anti-narcotics officers.

Meanwhile Human Rights Watch said it believed the suspension was no more than a publicity stunt, and called on Mr Duterte to end his deadly campaign for good. We no longer have a war on drugs. He said he will not lift a finger if Filipinos overstaying in the United States are caught and deported.

Speaking at a late-night media briefing Sunday, Duterte said he had to reorganize the way the police operate.

"We support President Duterte's opposition to the construction of any U.S. weapons depot in the country under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement", the group said in a statement. Duterte has since apologized to South Korea and promised swift retribution. "And yes, there definitely is a pressing need for more drastic and swift reforms in the PNP", she said after Dela Rosa announced the break-up of the PNP's anti-drugs unit in a speech during a flag-raising ceremony in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Also on Monday, the Philippines senate also (conveniently) suspended the legislative inquiry into the South Korean businessman's murder, saying it needed to refocus its efforts on observing the new war on corruption.

He is a close associate of a police officer who commanded the unit allegedly involved in Mr Jee's murder but Mr Duterte refused to accept his offer to resign over the scandal.

"You policemen are the most corrupt. But I can assure you; policemen - I will not let you get away", he said according to CNN Philippines. Police deny this, claiming self-defence.

Duterte, who has made no secret of his disdain for the USA troop presence in the Philippines, said Washington was bringing weapons into three provinces of his country to store permanently, which he said was a risky breach of a defence deal between them.

"I will not declare martial law, and if I declare martial law, I will not make noise", he said on January 18, as Reuters reports.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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