President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday slammed the alleged recycling of illegal drugs that were seized during police operations, adding the government personnel involved in those activities should be killed.
He made the statement after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino said the “recycling” of seized illegal drugs by law enforcers remained “rampant.”
“This corruption in drugs, the recycling that they are saying, you should really kill all crooked cops,” President Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang.
Aquino has previously said several sources have confirmed that unscrupulous anti-narcotics agents either sell seized illegal drugs or use them to plant as evidence in bogus operations.
Duterte also noted the prevalence of the practice of recycling drugs.
“I have to have evidence, that’s why I said just follow them. This is not really outright. But if they will catch, for example, 20 kilos, they will only report 10 kilos,” he said.
“Then they will receive an award. The others will recycle. They will sell it. Too many. And it’s so prevalent.”
Philippine National Police deputy spokesman Kimberly Molitas said law enforcers had intensified the internal cleansing of the ranks.
“We never denied that there are policemen who are like that, that’s why we strengthened our internal cleansing,” Molitas said in a television interview Wednesday.
But Metro Manila Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar disputed the claim, saying there could only be “isolated and limited” cases of drug recycling in Metro Manila.
Duterte has been widely criticized for his campaign against illegal drugs in which thousands have been killed during police operations.
He vowed to eradicate illegal drugs during his presidential campaign in 2016.