PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has “credible international sources,” Malacañang said on Thursday as it defended the Chief Executive’s claim that the alleged Taiwanese drug cartel was the major supplier of illegal narcotics in the country.
Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella issued the statement a day after Taiwan asked the Philippine government to provide information and evidence on the President’s allegations.
A report on Wednesday quoted Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines Gary Song-Huann Lin as saying that he has “requested our related agencies in Taipei to look into and investigate this matter.”
Speaking to reporters, Abella said the President would respond to Lin’s request for clarification “when he finds it necessary.”
“As per his statements, he has very credible sources and — credible international sources,” Abella said during a press conference.
“To show proof to whom? Well, that needs to be brought to the attention of the President and if he finds it necessary, he will respond,” he added.
But Abella clarified that Duterte was not blaming a particular country when he pointed to drug syndicates based in Hong Kong and Taiwan to be behind proliferation of illegal drugs in the Philippines.
“As per his interview I think yesterday, he did say that he was not blaming any particular country, but that there was organized crime that was behind all this drug traffic. And he did refer to Bamboo Triad,” he said.
“I’m assuming that the Bamboo Triad are of Chinese ethnicity. They may be Chinese nationals, but they’re not government-sponsored. I think that’s what has to be cleared,” Abella added.
In his speech on Tuesday night at the 120th anniversary of the Department of Justice, Duterte blamed a so-called Taiwan-based 14K Bamboo triad for supplying illegal drugs into the country.
Duterte made the claim even after Philippine authorities recently intercepted a P6.4-billion drug shipment from China to Manila early this year.