President Duterte on Thursday disclosed that the explosion in Hilongos, Leyte, on Wednesday night, which hurt 33 people, was a result of a “turf war” involving “Moro people” belonging to rival drug syndicates.
In a series of interviews with television networks on the eve of his sixth month in office, the President claimed the squabble among warring criminal groups behind the narcotics trade has become violent.
“There was an explosion in Leyte. It’s drug-related and they are having a turf war there,” Mr. Duterte said without elaborating.
The President, a self-styled socialist leader, immediately absolved the communist New People’s Army (NPA) from any involvement in the blast, which happened a few hours before an explosion hurt seven people in Cotabato province.
“You cannot attribute to it to (the NPA). In the first place, we are having a ceasefire,” he said. “The NPA has no record of throwing grenades at innocent people.”