Philippine narcotics enforcement agency supported by the military will continue the war on drugs but police have been suspended from operations by President Rodrigo Duterte. Samantha Vadas reports.
A new player in the brutal Philippines drug war. An anti-narcotics agency saying the military will now provide back-up, a week after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended police from the campaign in a bid to clean up corruption within the force. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL, ISIDRO LAPENA, SAYING: "The Philippine National Police was prohibited from engaging in the anti-illegal drug operations so there must be a replacement. The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is the one that is resorted to and is allowed by law with the drug problem having been elevated to a national security threat." However the army's involvement in the drug war is creating unease, bringing back memories of martial law. Last month Duterte said he wont declare military rule, but threatened it anyway. Though the head of the Philippines' drug agency says they'll take the lead on operations, with troops only playing a supporting role. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL, ISIDRO LAPENA, SAYING: "The anti-illegal campaign using the military will not put soldiers on the streets. They will be out there when there is an active, an actual operation that will be conducted" Though, with just 1800 personnel, the agency has a tough job ahead of it - keeping up the intensity of the drug war, which up until now has been waged by a police force more than 80 times its size.