31/01/2017 2:47 PM AEDT | Updated 01/02/2017 8:38 AM AEDT

Duterte's War On Drug Dealers To Be Replaced By Crooked Cop Hunt

But there are no guarantees the killings will stop.

NOEL CELIS via Getty Images
Duterte has conceded that the police force is 'corrupt to the core'.

The gruesome death of a South Korean businessman at the hands of Filipino police may have quelled President Rodrigo Duterte's murderous war on drug dealers.

Businessman Jee Ick-Joo was strangled to death in police headquarters in Manila in October last year -- one of 7000 to be killed after Duterte called for the death of all people linked to the drug trade.

It remains to be seen whether such a link existed with Ick Joo. His widow told the media the police who took her husband also asked for ransom on two occasions.

Like all of those killed in Duterte's war on drug dealers, there was no evidence, no trial and no course for rebuttal.

AFP/Getty Images
Activists hold a protest at the spot where Jee Ick Joo was killed.

Ick-Joo's death, however, has caused diplomatic tensions between South Korea and the Philippines and on Sunday, Duterte admonished the police involved in his death.

"You policemen are the most corrupt," he said on Sunday.

"You are corrupt to the core. It's in your system. Cleanse your ranks. Review their cases. Give me a list of who the scalawags are."

A day later, National Police Chief General Ronald dela Rosa said the drug war which began when Duterte was elected would be replaced by "a war on scallywags" in his own ranks.

"We will cleanse our ranks...then maybe after that, we can resume our war on drugs," he said.

"Rogue cops, beware. We no longer have a war on drugs -- we now have a war on scalawags."

As for Ick-Joo, a senate inquiry into his death has been suspended so police can reportedly focus on corruption.

There are no details of what this new focus on police corruption will entail, and whether vigilantes who continue to murder suspected drug dealers in extra judicial killings will be brought to justice.

One thing is certain: the public is not going to let Duterte forget about Ick-Joo.