Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced on Tuesday that Duterte approved a memorandum order directing the PNP and other law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Corporation, to resume providing active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations.
Dela Rosa had claimed that crimes like rape had gone up since the PNP had been benched in the drug war.
It remains unclear whether or not PDEA and PNP will be reviving the erstwhile Oplan Tokhang, which had generated a storm of controversy because of the numerous deaths associated with the police campaign against drug suspects.
"It says PNP and all other agencies can participate in the anti-illegal drug operations", he said.
"Since the signing of the record of discussion, capability enhancement trainings involving counter-narcotic operations, drug enforcement conferences and seminars, and bilateral meetings between the two organizations were successfully carried out", Aquino added.
Duterte won the presidency a year ago on a promise to wipe drugs and crime. "We believe the "war on drugs" meets the threshold of crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute, and worldwide pressure is needed to persuade the Philippine authorities to change course".
HRW said the police's return to drug-clearing operations as "wholly unexpected".
Duterte, 72, was elected previous year on a promise to eradicate drugs from society by launching an unprecedented campaign in which up to 100,000 people would die.
Following the announcement, Duterte told human rights groups criticizing his deadly campaign to "go to hell". Duterte had slammed all his critics, saying they don't have the right to interfere in a domestic problem.
An image of Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte is pictured after it was smeared with paint during a rally against the visit of US President Donald Trump near the US embassy, in Manila, Philippines, on Nov 10, 2017.
"This drug problem, it will not stop". Filipinos protested the killings for weeks and demanded justice.
Duterte said he would continue to ignore criticism from human rights groups over his war on drugs, telling them in jest to buy Valium.
The tactical shift in Duterte's drug war came at a hard time in his leadership.
Citing lack of manpower, the firebrand leader later reactivated police anti-drug activities. "The country's judiciary and police have proven themselves both unwilling and unable to hold the killers in the "war on drugs" to account", James Gomez, Amnesty International's Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a news release.
At the time of demoting the PNP, Duterte described the force as being "corrupt to the core".
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