Asia

Philippines marshals troops in deadly anti-drug crackdown

  • Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapena, left, delivers a speech beside Philippine military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano during signing rites at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines,Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The Philippines' main antinarcotics agency and the military already overburdened with counter insurgency and territorial defense work have signed an agreement to harness troops in the president's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapena, left, delivers a speech beside Philippine military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano during signing rites at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines,Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The Philippines' main antinarcotics agency and the military already overburdened with counter insurgency and territorial defense work have signed an agreement to harness troops in the president's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapena, left, shakes hands with Philippine military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano after signing rites at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines,Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The Philippines' main antinarcotics agency and the military already overburdened with counter insurgency and territorial defense work have signed an agreement to harness troops in the president's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapena, left, shakes hands with Philippine military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano after signing rites at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines,Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The Philippines' main antinarcotics agency and the military already overburdened with counter insurgency and territorial defense work have signed an agreement to harness troops in the president's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • CORRECTS POSITION - Philippine military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano, right, shakes hands with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapena after signing rites at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The Philippines' main antinarcotics agency and the military already overburdened with counter insurgency and territorial defense work have signed an agreement to harness troops in the president's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    CORRECTS POSITION - Philippine military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano, right, shakes hands with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro Lapena after signing rites at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The Philippines' main antinarcotics agency and the military already overburdened with counter insurgency and territorial defense work have signed an agreement to harness troops in the president's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippines' main antinarcotics agency has signed an agreement with the military to harness troops in President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs.

Military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo says that troops will only back up the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, which has a tiny force, in assaults against major drug suspects and in raids in far-flung areas facing insurgency and terrorism threats under the agreement signed Tuesday.

Arevalo says troops will not get involved in routine street and residential checks and raids against small-time targets.

Duterte has barred the national police from his anti-drug crackdown after two anti-narcotics officers were implicated in the killing of a South Korean businessman in an extortion scandal that allegedly used the antinarcotics campaign as a cover.