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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during an economic forum in Davao city, in southern Philippines February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr


MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he would have to call the police back to his war on drugs, nearly a month after suspending the force from all operations in the bloody campaign.

Duterte said the recall would not mean all police would return, but some. He did not elaborate.

Duterte's police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, said on Monday drugs had returned to the streets in the past few weeks and police were ready to rejoin the campaign because "the sooner we return, the better".

Duterte suspended the Philippine National Police (PNP) from his anti-drugs operations after it was discovered that rogue drug-squad officers kidnapped and killed a South Korean businessman at the PNP headquarters.

More than 7,700 people have died since the campaign started eight months ago, some 2,500 in police operations.

(Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Robert Birsel)