Philippines

‘Recalibrated’ drug war will be within rule of law: Palace

‘Recalibrated’ drug war will be within rule of law: Palace
By Azer Parrocha

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The “recalibrated” war on drugs will be relentless and chilling as President Rodrigo R. Duterte promised, but will properly observe the rule of law, Malacañang assured on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark in reaction to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde’s statement that the police is “recalibrating” the drug war to be in sync with national policy.

Albayalde added that the drug war will also be “relentless” in monitoring the whereabouts of drug users, street pushers, and surrenderers.

He said it will send a strong message “about the certainty of punishment to high value targets, their protectors and patrons” who help those involved in the illegal drug trade.

“Coming from General Albayalde who has committed himself and has proven himself to be operating within the rule of law, I welcome that remark,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

“It will be relentless but it will be within the rule of law. Obviously, I’m a big fan of General Albayalde,” he added.

Roque also pointed out that only criminals, not law-abiding citizens, should be afraid by the President’s warning.

Oplan Tokhang is a program of the PNP which involves visits by local police to known drug addicts to urge them to undergo rehabilitation.

“So criminals, there’s reason for you to be chilled. But for law abiding individuals, you’re secure in your life, liberty and papers,” Roque said.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23, Duterte said his war on drugs is “far from over.”

“Let me begin by putting it bluntly: the war against illegal drugs is far from over. Where before, the war resulted in the seizure of illegal drugs worth millions of pesos, today, they run [into] billions in peso value,” Duterte said.

Duterte added that protests from human rights groups and the Church could not deter him from continuing his drug war.

“If you think that I can be dissuaded from continuing this fight because of [your] demonstrations, your protests, which I find, by the way, misdirected, then you got it all wrong,” he said. (PNA)

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