Bounty on Philippines police officials protecting drug trade

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Manila, Aug 29 (IANS) Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday vowed to continue his war on drugs and announced that he would place a bounty on the heads of police officers protecting the drug trade in the country.

The President made the remarks in a speech delivered at the Heroes Cemetery in Metro Manila’s Taguig city to mark National Heroes Day, EFE news reported.

“I am inclined to place a reward on their head, the members of the police who are protecting drug syndicates,” Duterte said in the televised address, adding “I’m placing per head, 2 million Philippine pesos (around $43,000).”

He also said he would take full responsibility for the war on illegal drugs, as he called on officials to step up their efforts.

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The speech came just hours after the dead body of another suspected drug offender was seen on the streets of Metro Manila’s Caloocan city, following an anti-drug police operation.

According to police data, at least 756 persons were killed during anti-drug police operations and 1,160 more by unknown assailants – many of whom were vigilantes – between July 1 and August 23.

The crackdown and resultant extrajudicial killings have drawn widespread international criticism.

The UN earlier this month expressed concern over Duterte’s aggressive anti-narcotics campaign, and called on him to end the wave of killings.



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