Philippine army gets involved in anti-drug war

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The Philippine army will create a battalion-sized task force to help the government’s anti-narcotics agency run after high-level targets in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, the country’s military chief says. Duterte ordered the military to play a role in his crackdown. He has said that he also wants to grant troops powers to arrest corrupt police.

“The task force is yet to be created, but we are talking about a battalion size,” said Filipine army chief Eduardo Ano, adding that the soldiers were ready to operate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Up to 5,000 soldiers could be mobilised under the task force, or only 500 depending on the threat, Ano said.

However, he ruled out a bloody operation by the task force, unlike some of the raids conducted by the national police as they would focus on the leadership networks of the big syndicates.

President Duterte said that “I need the help of each one, especially the military, not for social control but protection for the citizens from the lawless, the reckless, and the selfish.”

He declared his war on drugs to be “by and large successful”, but added the problem was more complex than he had thought and that is why he needed the military to play a role.

 

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The Philippine army will create a battalion-sized task force to help the government's anti-narcotics agency run after high-level targets in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, the country's military chief says. Duterte ordered the military to play a role in his crackdown. He has said that he also wants to grant troops powers to arrest corrupt police. "The task force is yet to be created, but we are talking about a battalion size," said Filipine army chief Eduardo Ano, adding that the soldiers were ready to operate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Up to 5,000 soldiers could be mobilised...

Reading Time: 1 minute

The Philippine army will create a battalion-sized task force to help the government’s anti-narcotics agency run after high-level targets in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, the country’s military chief says. Duterte ordered the military to play a role in his crackdown. He has said that he also wants to grant troops powers to arrest corrupt police.

“The task force is yet to be created, but we are talking about a battalion size,” said Filipine army chief Eduardo Ano, adding that the soldiers were ready to operate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Up to 5,000 soldiers could be mobilised under the task force, or only 500 depending on the threat, Ano said.

However, he ruled out a bloody operation by the task force, unlike some of the raids conducted by the national police as they would focus on the leadership networks of the big syndicates.

President Duterte said that “I need the help of each one, especially the military, not for social control but protection for the citizens from the lawless, the reckless, and the selfish.”

He declared his war on drugs to be “by and large successful”, but added the problem was more complex than he had thought and that is why he needed the military to play a role.

 

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