Philippines burns cocaine, meth as drug ‘flood’ continues

Armed agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency stand guard next to seized illegal drugs including bricks of cocaine prior to destroying them on July 4, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 04 July 2019

Philippines burns cocaine, meth as drug ‘flood’ continues

  • Philippine police say they are now targeting higher-level traffickers
  • Cache burned Thursday accounted for just over a fifth of all dangerous drugs seized by police in the past three years

TRECE MARTIRES: The Philippines burned 1.4 tons (over 3,000 pounds) of seized narcotics on Thursday as police warned the nation still faces a “flood” of illegal drugs despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly crackdown.
Cellophane wrapped bricks of cocaine and methamphetamine were packed into a massive incinerator in Trece Martires City under armed guard in a carefully staged event before TV cameras.
Police said they are now targeting higher-level traffickers despite an anti-drug crackdown that has officially killed over 5,300 alleged users and dealers — a number of rights groups say could be three times higher.
“We have shifted to supply reduction because the flood of illegal drugs continues despite our intensified campaign ... on the street level,” national police spokesman Bernard Banac told reporters.
Despite a campaign pledge to rid the nation of drugs within months of taking office in 2016, in March Duterte said “things have worsened.”
Campaigners say the drug war killings could amount to crimes against humanity.
Though the Philippines has pulled out of the International Criminal Court, the war crimes body is pushing ahead with a preliminary examination of the crackdown.
Police said the cache burned Thursday accounted for just over a fifth of all dangerous drugs seized by police in the past three years.
“All of the drugs seized... will be burned and will not be recycled,” said Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino, referring to the practice whereby corrupt police sell seized narcotics.


Japan’s Abe says he will meet Iran’s Rouhani this month in NY

Updated 5 min 28 sec ago

Japan’s Abe says he will meet Iran’s Rouhani this month in NY

  • Abe added that he would travel to Belgium after the UNGA session
  • He is also meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he would meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the end of the month, as regional tensions rise in the Middle East after the weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities, public broadcaster NHK said.
It was during a meeting with members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that Abe repeated his intention of speaking with Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, according to NHK.
Abe added that he would travel to Belgium after the UNGA session and meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, NHK said.