From CNN Philippines (Jul 8): Narco Politics/PNP Chief: 23 mayors on Duterte’s list of officials linked to illegal drugs
After naming five active and retired police officers as protectors of drug syndicates and three drug lords, President Rodrigo Duterte may soon identify 23 mayors also allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, the national police chief said Friday.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa said the information is from verified intelligence reports received by the President.
“I hope na yung mga mayor na yan ngayon, nag-aarmas na ng husto,” Dela Rosa said. “Gerahin natin yun,” Dela Rosa said. [Translation: I hope these mayors are now arming themselves well. We will be waging a war against them.]
In his first trip outside Manila as PNP chief, Dela Rosa visited Central Luzon (Region 3), one of the focus areas of the PNP’s anti-drug war.
Central Luzon accounted for the second highest number suspected drug dealers killed. From June 27 to July 3, PNP figures show 31 have been killed by the police in the region.
Calabarzon and Mimaropa together account for 43 killed, the biggest number.
With 124 taken into custody in the region, Central Luzon also ranked third with the most number of individuals arrested for links to drugs.
Dela Rosa said illegal drugs pass through both seaports and airports in Central Luzon.
“Yung mga private plane na direkta pumapasok dito sa Clark – I don't know how properly ang pagche-check ng mga Customs diyan,” Dela Rosa said.[Translation: Those private planes that directly fly into Clark – I don’t know how properly the Customs checks them.]
He also said the ships that dock in Subic could be used to smuggle illegal drugs. “We do not know how clean are these ships,” he said.
Dela Rosa met and had lunch with more than 600 drug dependents in Bataan who voluntarily turned themselves in. He thanked them for deciding to turn a new leaf but he said he will be tough against those who continue using and dealing drugs.
Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, regional PNP officer-in-charge, said there are at least a hundred policemen in Central Luzon who could be involved in drug trafficking.
“Yun nga minsan, mahirap mag-operate dahil hindi mo alam kung sino ang kakampi mo o hindi. Yun ang problema namin. So minsan, mag-o-operate kami, biglang magli-leak,” Aquino said. [Translation: Sometimes it is hard to conduct an operation because you do not know who are with you and who are not. That is our problem. So sometimes, when we conduct an operation, suddenly there is a leak.]
Dela Rosa told Aquino to gather evidence against these officers to pin them down.