'Tokhang' out? | PNP suspends Project Double Barrel

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED October 12, 2017 02:51 pm | UPDATED October 12, 2017 02:55 pm
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(Inside Manila) The Philippine National Police (PNP) officially took the back seat of the government’s war on drugs as it suspends its flagship anti-narcotics program—the “Project Double Barrel.”


In an order from the PNP Directorate for Operations read to reporters on Thursday, October 12, PNP Deputy Spokesperson Superintendent Chai Madrid said "everybody is directed to adhere to the Presidential directive."


Madrid was referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s memorandum, tapping the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to be the “lead agency” on the government’s illegal drugs crackdown.


Asked if this means Project Double Barrel is suspended, Madrid said yes.


In a press briefing, PNP Spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos explained that the police force will now focus on street crimes.


“We will focus our law enforcement activities on decreasing our street crimes as this is where we are perceived by the community vis av vis our initiatives and efforts,” he said.


This is the second time that the PNP suspended its war on drugs campaign.


Early this year, operatives of the PNP’s anti-illegal drugs unit were involved in the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was killed inside Camp Crame, paving way for the disbanding of the group and suspension of the “Project Double Barrel.”


Duterte redeployed the PNP to resume its lead in the drug war in February.


The Police force was once again faced in allegations as it launched its “One time, Big time” operations in “key areas,” leading to deaths of teenagers Kian Loyd Delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo De Guzman.

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