How can I become a notorious businessman

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This content was published on January 30, 2017 - 6:02 pm (Keystone-SDA)

The police in the Philippines are suspending their bloody drug war for the time being in order to bring order to their own ranks. The trigger is the case of a South Korean businessman who was killed in police custody.

Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa announced on Monday the dissolution of the highly controversial anti-drug special units of the police and at the same time announced "internal purges". The businessman was believed to have been kidnapped by corrupt police officers three months ago.

The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been in office for seven months, announced that he would end drug crime in the Southeast Asian island nation within his first six months in office. Now, however, he assured him that he would pursue the goal "until the last day of his term of office". The situation was worse than expected, it was said to justify.

There has been a lot of criticism of the brutally waged drug war under Duterte, also internationally. According to official figures, more than 2,250 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed since he took office last June. According to estimates by the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), more than 7,000 people died.

The authorities say they are investigating thousands of so-called extrajudicial killings, for which contract killers, death squads or drug gangs could be responsible. Often times, cuffed bodies were found in streets or backyards, many with signs saying, "I'm a drug dealer. Don't be like me." Duterte also boasted of killing people himself.

Local police in charge

"As of today, I am dissolving all anti-drug units from the national to the local level," Police Chief Dela Rosa announced in a speech to new officers in the capital, Manila. In the future, the local police should be responsible for drug offenses. The fight against drug crime will initially be halted while the stands are cleaned.

A special force should be used to clear up the allegations in the case of the Korean. The police chief had already offered Duterte his resignation last week, but the president refused.

The businessman was abducted in October using a forged arrest warrant. On the same day, he was said to have been strangled in Manila's police headquarters. The kidnappers still extorted five million Philippine pesos (around 90,000 francs) in ransom from his wife. At least eight police officers are now being investigated.

Dela Rosa has no interest in the killings in the drug war being accounted for, criticized HRW's deputy head of Asia, Phelim Kine, in a statement on Monday. The measure to dissolve the police units is only "an empty PR gesture".

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