Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Source: Reuters)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine army will establish a battalion-sized task force to help the government’s anti-narcotics agencies track down high-level targets in the war on drugs launched by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Eduardo Ano told reporters in Baguio city that the military is ready to cooperate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Up to 5,000 soldiers could be mobilised for the task force, or only 500 depending on the threat, he said.

However, he ruled out a bloody operation by the task force, unlike some raids conducted by the police.

Cracking down on crime is one of Duterte’s priorities, with drug crimes a key focus since he took office last year.

Statistics showed that the national police have killed more than 7,700 people in the anti-narcotics campaign over the past seven months.-VNA