By Ralph Villanueva/Manila Times
President Rodrigo Duterte has floated the possibility that drug money could be in play in next year’s mid-term elections.
“Drug menace is the number one threat to national security, linking drugs not only to its significant influence in the rise of heinous crimes but it also negatively affects the economy and the role it plays in the corruption of our collections even in our law enforcement agencies,” Duterte said in Malacanang.
“Look at the elections (next year) you will see that. Drug money will be in play there,” he added.
The president cited the Parojinogs of Ozamiz City, who are allegedly involved in the drug trade.
“Look at them, until now the remaining siblings and relatives of Parojinogs, they kill. They kill, even the judge,” he said. Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr, who was linked to the illegal drug trade, was killed in a drug raid in July last year.
His children, Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog and her brother, Reynaldo Parojinog Jr, were then arrested and are currently detained for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosives and dangerous drugs.
Judge Edmundo Pintac, who was handling their cases, was gunned down on October 8.
The family, however, denied any link to the murder.
Duterte again slammed human rights groups, saying, “The human rights groups, they fight me. But they do not know how deep the drug problem in the country is. It’s human rights against my country.”
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier called for the disqualification of those on the so-called narco list.
But the idea was slammed by Malacanang, saying those included in the list should be accorded due process.
Duterte last month said he does not want to expose the narco-politicians.
Later, Duterte said he will issue a memorandum circular directing the entire government machinery to mobilise its assets and to take an active role in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign nationwide.|
The machinery will be composed of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs and Philippine Coast Guard, among others.
It will “provide a necessary personal complement to carry out the directive of the president to the Bureau of Customs to block the flow of illegal drugs in this country.”
“Drug menace is the number one threat to national security,” he said, admitting that shabu enters the country “almost everyday.”
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