Pres. Duterte gives P-DEA leadership role in drug campaign

The latest on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s much-criticized war on drugs.

Duterte has taken a hands-off approach in this campaign, giving the leadership role to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or P-DEA — and relegating the Philippine National Police to a supportive role.

Duterte has even told the P-DEA not to provide him reports.

But Duterte stressed on other pressing national concerns, such as terrorism and criminality, he will remain hands-on.

The PNP estimated that 3,800 drug peddlers have been killed in legitimate police operations. But human rights groups disputed this, saying the death toll in Duterte’s war on drugs could be as high as 13,000.

Veteran Philippine investigative journalist Raissa Robles — who is currently in a speaking tour in the US — held a talk at the Gallatin Human Rights initiative in New York University.

Robles revealed an explosive expose that the Duterte administration’s statistical basis to justify its war on drugs is essentially false.

Robles joins BA via phone to tell us more about her explosive expose about Duterte’s tactics, and what brought her to the conclusion that the Philippine government has been justifying the war on drugs on erroneous data, and what critics can do to hold him accountable for any human rights violations committed in the campaign.

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