Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: EPA/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Nearly 100 policemen have been dismissed since the start of the year because they were found to be drug users, in a clean-up of the ranks after President Rodrigo Duterte halted police anti-drug operations, according to a local senior official.

Ninety police officers have been fired since the start of the year and nine were removed in 2016, said Alfegar Triambulo, Internal Affairs Service Inspector General in comments broadcast on ANC TV.

“That is a grave offence, the police  caught using illegal drugs, according to the civil service rules, must be dismissed" he said, adding that he would recommend next week the dismissal of 40 more policemen to the police chief.

More than 7,700 people have been killed since Duterte unleashed his bloody war on drugs seven months ago, including about 2,500 in police forces, while the rest are being investigated.

Last month, Duterte denounced the police as "corrupt to the core" and suspended their role in anti-drug operations, although he vowed to forge ahead with the drug campaign.-VNA