Duterte, PDEA to discuss anti-illegal drug measures

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday, October 31, said he will discuss with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) about anti-illegal drug measures in light of Japan's promise to help the Philippines in its fight against drugs.

Duterte said he will talk with PDEA chief Aaron Aquino, after aksed how exactly will Japan help the Philippines in implementing medium and long-term action plans in anti-illegal drug measure.

“I am trying to gauge the situation. PDEA has a very limited resource, the warm bodies there,” he said on Tuesday, October 31, upon his arrival from Japan.

In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan and the Philippines will cooperate to come up with counter measures against terrorism and illegal drugs.

“With the view to supporting building of a society which respects law and order, we will steadily implement the medium to long term action plans related to illegal drugs,” Abe said in a speech in Tokyo on Monday, October 30.

The President in October named PDEA as the sole agency in charge of the government’s war on drugs, as his anti-drug campaign faces public outrage over police abuses and alleged extrajudicial killings.

On Tuesday, he told reporters that he will monitor if the overall picture improves without the police’s involvment.

If it’s worsened, tingnan natin. Then sabihin ko, mag-petition muna tayo doon sa human rights kung anong magagawa nila,” he added.

(If it has worsened, we'll see. Then I'll say that we petition those human rights advocates what they propose to do.)

Earlier in January, Abe said Japan wants to work together with the Philippines with unspecified drug “facilities” and treatment programs. – Rappler.com