The Philippines' outgoing national police chief on Monday said there would be more anti-drug operations under a new leadership, stressing that the campaign does not end with his retirement.
Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, popularly known as "Bato," the Filipino word for rock, has led the deadly crackdown on illegal drugs since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration on July 1, 2016.
"The commitment of the (national police) in the anti-illegal drugs campaign does not end with the retirement of Ronald Dela Rosa," Dela Rosa said at his last regular press briefing.
"Rather, we can expect more effective results-oriented operations against illegal drugs under a new leadership that will infuse new blood into the campaign," he added.
Since police resumed anti-drug operations in December, 207 suspects have been killed in more than 12,000 operations, Dela Rosa said.
Police also arrested 19,086 drug offenders during the same period, he added.
Duterte suspended police anti-drug operations in October amid public outrage about the killing of three teenagers, before ordering its resumption in December.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said 4,021 suspects were killed in police anti-drug operations between July 1, 2016 and February 8, 2018.
But rights groups have estimated the death toll to be between 12,000 and 13,000, including victims suspected to have been murdered by hired or vigilante killers.
Dela Rosa is set to turn over his position on Thursday to Oscar Albayalde, currently the chief of police in the capital region.