Philippines Suspends Drug War for War on Corrupt Cops

Move follows police murder of businessman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2017 2:03 AM CST
Philippines Puts Drug War on Hold
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines last month.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The Philippines has suspended its merciless war on drugs in order to "cleanse" police forces of corruption, officials say. The move comes after a killing seen as excessive even in a campaign that has seen at least 7,000 extrajudicial killings, the BBC reports. Officials say Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman, was seized from his home in October by anti-narcotics officers who claimed to be carrying out a drug raid. His kidnappers strangled him to death inside Philippine National Police Headquarters at Camp Crame in Manila, officials say, then pretended he was still alive in order to extort $100,000 in ransom money from his wife.

"That it happened inside Camp Crame is really bad, and we admit that," President Rodrigo Duterte told reporters Sunday evening, per the Wall Street Journal. He accused police forces of being "corrupt to the core" and vowed to send offenders to fight insurgents in the south of the country. At a press conference Monday, national police chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa said the Philippines DEA would handle all drug cases until police corruption had been dealt with. "Rogue cops, beware!" he said. "We no longer have a war on drugs; we now have a war on scalawags." (Last month, Duterte boasted about throwing criminals from a helicopter.)

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