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Tigil na ang ‘Tokhang’! Duterte makes PDEA the lead agency in drug war

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President Rodrigo Duterte has made the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the lead agency in the war on drugs following the decline in his ratings due to the killings linked to the government’s anti-narcotics campaign.

In a memorandum signed October 10, Duterte told law enforcement agencies, including the Philippine National Police, that PDEA will be the “sole agency” that will conduct anti-illegal drugs campaign and operations.

“All information/data received by the NBI, PNP, AFP, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Office and all other agencies or any and all ad hoc anti-drug task forces shall forthwith be relayed, delivered or brought to the attention of the PDEA for its appropriate action,” he said.

Under the memorandum, the PNP’s role is reduced to “police visibility,” in a bid to deter illegal drug activities.

The designation of PDEA as the lead agency in the administration’s war on drugs comes at the heels of the double-digit decline in Duterte’s trust and satisfaction ratings for the third quarter of 2017.

Results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed public satisfaction with Duterte has declined from 78 percent in June to 67 percent in September.

Meanwhile, the public’s trust in him slid from 82 percent in June to 73 percent.

The killings of three youth, including Kian Loyd Delos Santos, purportedly by policemen, were said to have been a factor in the plunge in Duterte’s ratings.