Malacañang is not discounting the possibility that international terror group Islamic State (IS) also funded the attack on Marawi City as part of “multiple streams of income.”
In a news conference, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called Lanao Del Sur (LDS) Drug Trade Linked Diagram underscored the ties that bound illegal drugs and criminal and terrorist activities in the country.
“Let’s put it this way, I suppose there are multiple streams of income coming in [to finance the Maute group],” Abella told reporters.
He also said the drug matrix only proved that local executives, drug syndicates, and terror groups were part of a “circuitous loop.”
“We should say not just drug money, it’s narco-politics. In other words, local politicians, apparently down to the local level, are all participating in abetting the drug trade which is closely related to – apparently, it’s a circuitous loop – government, drugs, [and]terror group,” Abella said.
On Friday, Duterte released the diagram containing the names of drug lords and politicians who allegedly funded the Marawi siege.
The President said the matrix was a result of intelligence work in the last three months, when government troops were able to gain access to Marawi.
The Palace official said Duterte had a “plan in mind” against drug suspects who helped finance the Marawi attack.
“We can all trust that the President will – not just the President but the whole force of government – will be exercised in order to make sure that his campaign promises regarding drugs and corruption and crime will be addressed,” he added.
Speaking to reporters in Davao City, Duterte claimed the purported IS emir in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, and the Maute brothers who led the insurgency in Marawi City were far from “being the main protagonists.”
“On the list, it’s really those who are in the government,” the President said.
Duterte then claimed that slain Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog was one of those who poured cash on the extremists that occupied Marawi.
Some local officials in Central Mindanao are also financing terrorists, he said, but did not elaborate.
The single-page matrix contained a column on each side. The left named “drug lords,” who included a number of incumbent local executives, the right named “drug dealers,” and the center contained circles within which were the names of “narco-politicians” and other major players. Arrows showed their supposed connections to each other.
Among those mentioned in the center was the “Parojinog Drug Trade (Ozamiz City),” an obvious reference to the network allegedly run by the late Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.
Other politicians whose names appeared on the matrix were Mayors Noron Dadayan of Buadiposo Buntong and Hadji Jamal Abdusalam of Mulondo, and Vice Mayor Noridin Adiong of Ditsaan Ramain, all in Lanao del Sur. They were in the “drug lords” column.
Other names in the center were former Marawi mayors Fahad “Pre” Salic and Solitario Omar Ali, who were both arrested soon after the Marawi crisis erupted on May 23, as well as Solitario’s son Arafat, the incumbent vice mayor.
The President further tagged at least 19 “drug dealers,” including a councilor and several village executives.
“All drug trade in LDS pass to former mayor Pre and Solitario [through]barangay (village) chairman Aliodin, and Vice Mayor Arafat and brother[s]Samer and Walid, respectively,” the drug matrix read.
“Pre and Solitario authored the kidnapping and liquidation of all drug lords… Arrows indicate the drug trade control relationship,” it added.