AFP promises president on drug war assignment: We will not fail you

  • AFP vowed not to let president down in war vs drugs
  • They are still waiting for guidelines, are prepared to undergo training if needed

MANILA, Philippines – With the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) halted from further anti-drug operations following the death of a Korean businessman, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) pledged to be faithful to the role given to them by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We are thankful to the President for his trust. We will not fail him. We will do the duty that he entrusted to us,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted AFP public affairs chief Col. Edgard Arevalo as saying.

While they have yet to receive the guidelines laying down their role in the anti-drug campaign, Arevalo said they are willing to undergo training if they must.

“But whatever the guidelines will be, if we’re asked to undergo training, we will do it,” he said.

The AFP’s prime task is geared towards national security and territorial defense.

Several PNP and NBI officials were implicated in the killing of Jee Ick-Joo, a Korean trader inside Camp Crame last October. The resulting fallout has resulted in Duterte suspending anti-drug operations in both civilian agencies in favor of internal reforms.

Previously, the president said he would tap the armed forces to continue the campaign as he believes they are not as prone to being corrupted by drug money.

“Kung hindi ko kayo ipasok sa laro, patay ako. Walang magtingin diyan sa abusadong pulis [If I don’t put you into the picture, I am doomed. Nobody will look after the abusive policemen],” he said.  “The culture of corruption sa pulis, matindi [is serious.]”

Duterte also revealed considering the possible revival of the Philippine Constabulary to continue the campaign against drugs.