>> Despite a bloody war on drugs that's killed thousands, crystal meth dealers are back on the streets of the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte ordered police to stand down from the anti-narcotics campaign three weeks ago and in that time the trade in meth or Shabu, as it's known here, has returned from the shadows.
Reuters' Claire Baldwin visited some of the areas where dealers are back in business.>> The people in the communities that we visited told us that the drug trade never really stopped, even during the height of the police operations. They told us that the trade became a little bit more discreet.
People would buy and sell drugs only if they knew you and they wouldn't necessarily do it out in the open but the drugs were still available. Now that the police operations have stopped the people in the communities are telling us that the trade has now I'm more invisible.
>> Anti-narcotics experts say they won't be surprised if the drug war fails aAnd that ruthless operations like Duterte's haven't worked in other countries. The supply of drugs may be pinched, but demand doesn't go away.>> The users told us that Duterte's war on drugs has really failed to address the reason that they use drugs in the first place.
They were telling us that a lot of them use it for work. They have multiple physically demanding jobs in that they need the drugs to get through the work day. They also mentioned that they're addicted and it's not a simple thing to stop. When they use the drugs they don't feel fear and therefore that they're not worried about being killed.
Duterte has handed the anti-narcotics campaign over to the Philippines' much smaller drug enforcement agency, but police are now pushing to get back in. The country's popular police chief this week saying the longer police are kept out of the fight, the worse things are getting. Duterte says he's considering the idea.