Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday publicly named five top police officials allegedly involved in, or protecting, drug syndicates.
"I order them relieved of their assignments and [to] report to the (national police) director-general who would like to talk to them," Duterte said in a speech to the Philippines' air force.
Duterte noted that the information on the five police generals - two of whom are retired - underwent "so many validations." However, he did not elaborate on the evidence against them.
Duterte won presidential elections in May after campaigning on a platform to uproot corruption and quash illegal drug trade within six months of his presidency.
More than 100 armed drug dealers have been killed in clashes with police, while thousands of drug users have surrendered to authorities since Duterte launched his anti-drug campaign.
The president had previously called for police to kill all drug dealers, and even called on communist rebels to partake in the mission.
"Many more will die … It's going to be a dirty fight, it's going to be a bloody fight. I'm not apologizing for it," the president added.
Last week, national police Director-General Ronald dela Rosa ordered police officers linked to drug trafficking to surrender by Sunday or be killed.
ls/jm (AFP, AP)