Drugs war to target ‘big fish’
MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s ferocious war on drugs will shift to a higher gear to target “big fish”, officials said on Thursday, moving away from street level operations to go after big networks and suppliers.
Duterte issued a directive on Tuesday ordering the police to halt activities in the anti-drug campaign and leave all operations to the drug enforcement agency, amid unprecedented scrutiny of police conduct. The national police chief disbanded all 18 regional anti-drugs units on Thursday and said the resources would be channelled into fighting other crimes.
“We now target higher echelons of the syndicates, as well as their protectors in government,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters.
Abella said the street level distribution networks of the “drug lords” had been degraded due to successful police operations in the 15-month old campaign.