Date
11 December 2016
A policeman secures a suspected drug den. The police are shifting resources to the arrest of suspected drug offenders from extrajudicial killings. Photo: Reuters
A policeman secures a suspected drug den. The police are shifting resources to the arrest of suspected drug offenders from extrajudicial killings. Photo: Reuters

Philippine police plan shift in drug war

Philippine police are planning to reduce the killing of drug suspects and shift to arresting prominent people tied to the narcotics trade.

Project Double Barrel Alpha will put a stronger focus on arresting politicians, military, police, government officials and celebrities allegedly involved in narcotics, Reuters reports.

The new approach will be outlined on Tuesday at a meeting of police chiefs from each of the Philippines’ 18 regions, Philippines National Police spokesman Dionardo Carlos said.

The operation will be launched within days, Carlos said, adding he did not have further details of the new operation.

The meeting comes after what one of the sources familiar with details of the plan described as “intense” discussions among law enforcement officials about the wave of killings of drug suspects.

“We will give emphasis [to] arrests rather than neutralization,” said one of the sources.

Asked why the new approach is being taken now, he said: “It is related to the EJK issue. We are doing our best to address that … It was a collective decision after an intense discussion of the implications of the EJK issue.”

He did not elaborate on who was involved in the decision-making.

“Neutralization” is a euphemism for the killings that have characterized the anti-drugs drive. EJK refers to extrajudicial killings.

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