World

Role for army in Duterte drug war

MANILA The Philippine army will create a "battalion size" task force to help the government's anti-narcotics agency run after high-value targets in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, the country's military chief said.

Mr Duterte has ordered the military to play a role in his crackdown.

The announcement came after it emerged last month that drug squad officers had killed a South Korean businessman at national police headquarters.

The troops, however, will only provide back-up in the campaign and not patrol the streets or play any kind of leading role, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Isidro Lapena told Reuters earlier this month.

"We are ready to operate with the PDEA. (The task force) is yet to be created, but we are talking about a battalion size," Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Eduardo Ano told reporters late on Saturday in Baguio City, where Mr Duterte attended a military alumni homecoming. - REUTERS

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