Philippines' Duterte slams "corrupt" police

The Filipino president made the remarks after a string of scandals involving police officers.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The 160,000-member police force is the main enforcer of Duterte's 10-month-old crackdown against drugs.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday launched another tirade against corrupt police who are the front-line troops in his deadly drug war, after four more officers were accused of kidnapping and extortion.

The arrest of the four from Manila's financial district of Makati was the latest in a series of scandals involving police that have raised concerns about their suitability to prosecute the drug war.

"I was reading, coming here, another spot report of four policemen again (linked to) kidnapping. These policemen, .... .. ..... !" Duterte said at Manila airport before flying to Cambodia.

The 160,000-member police force is the main enforcer of Duterte's 10-month-old drugs crackdown that has claimed thousands of lives and led to warnings he may be orchestrating a crime against humanity.

A corrupt force

Duterte admitted early this year that the force was "corrupt to the core" after several anti-drugs policemen were arrested on charges of kidnapping and murdering a South Korean businessman as part of an extortion scam.

Duterte pulled all police off the drug war at that time and vowed to "cleanse" the force. But after a brief lull, he allowed the police to resume the anti-drug crackdown without major reforms.

The force again came under fire last month after a dozen people, mainly drug suspects, were discovered inside a closet-sized secret cell at a Manila police station.