Duterte told: ‘Watch your back’

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INCOMING President Rodrigo Duterte should watch out for politicians involved in the illegal drug trade who may “infiltrate” his camp on the pretense of being his political supporters, sources of The Manila Times warned Wednesday.

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In fact, people close to Duterte, who will be formally inaugurated as the country’s 16th President today, have raised the alarm against such local leaders as they noted that some have even paid the president-elect a visit following his victory.

One such politician, the source said, comes from a political clan in a province east of Metro Manila. The official was previously a mayor who has relinquished the position to another family member.

“He has been reported by various law enforcement agencies to be the drug kingpin in the province. He is among the more than 30 mayors that Duterte was talking about in his previous speeches. The problem now is his family supported the new president,” the source said.

Duterte has claimed that apart from three police generals, there are 35 mayors who are actively involved in the illegal drug trade. He warned that unless the problem is nipped early, the Philippines faces the danger of becoming a “narco state” in seven years.

Another source confirmed the warning of a former high-ranking government official. He said the local executive, who has been elected to a lower post, is frequently seen in a local casino where he supposedly launders “dirty money.”

“His town is accessible by boat from (the cities of) Taguig and Muntinlupa and as far as souther Luzon provinces. Mabigat ang laban. Kaya dapat sunugin agad kay Digong (Duterte) para hindi na makadikit ng gusto,” stressed the source.

The sources said the new government should also look into the involvement of a governor in the province of Bicol in the illicit drug trade.

“The governor’s henchman is a mayor-elect in Camarines who was nabbed by combined agents of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) from Region 5 in the past. The mayor allegedly paid off the raiding teams P10 million to escape prosecution,” claimed the Times’ source.

The official goes by the alias, B2K, and is of Chinese descent. His partner in the operation is a retired police officer known only as “Ronnie.”

“The problem does not stop there. The government must also investigate Philippine Coast Guard officials in the province on suspicion of being in cahoots with drug traffickers who smuggle illegal drugs from China through its porous coastline,” the source further claimed.

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