Three weeks into the government’s six-month crackdown on drugs, Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Wednesday told police in Phnom Penh not to let crime get so bad that authorities have to take extreme measures, as Cambodia would not employ the bloody methods of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines.
“We have to work together to avoid risking a future that we can’t control,” he told police officers and officials at an annual meeting of City Hall.
“For example, in the Philippines, they have taken hot measures.
But whether it succeeds or not, we have to learn more—I don’t know yet,” he said.
“But we can’t be like them.”
Mr. Kheng also emphasized the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
“If weapons are still scattered, then these weapons will fall into the hands of perpetrators and there will be more complications,” he said.
“Don’t let the situation get like that.”
The Philippine National Police said this week that more than 7,000 people had been killed as part of Mr. Duterte’s highly controversial “war on drugs,” which began in July and has been condemned internationally.
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