The Philippine police have suspended nationwide anti-drug operations to focus on internal cleansing following the killing of a South Korean man by narcotics officers.
On Monday, Police Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa announced that he will stop the use of the national police force in anti-drug operations and launch a massive purge of police involved in crimes.
The police revealed earlier this month that they arrested some members of anti-drug police squads for kidnapping and killing a South Korean businessman last October.
The officers snatched the man for ransom using a fake arrest warrant for a purported drug offense. They strangled him to death at police headquarters in Manila and collected the ransom without telling his wife that he was dead.
The police chief said that President Rodrigo Duterte will determine when the cleansing is over and will instruct when to resume anti-drug operations.
Duterte offered his apologies to South Korea on Thursday and denounced the police as corrupt.
He launched the anti-drug campaign after taking office last June, but human rights groups have criticized police for abuses including drug trafficking.
The killing of the South Korean businessman fuelled public criticism. The New York-based Human Rights Watch says the suspension of police anti-drug operations to allow a purge is a public relations stunt to defuse such criticism.
Source and image: NHK