THREE Chinese nationals are the country’s top illegal drug traders, protected by a retired police general, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed Thursday night.
In a Malacañang briefing aired over the government-owned People’s Television network, Duterte named Wu Tuan alias Peter Co, Peter Lim alias Jaguar, and Herbert Colangco alias Ampang as leaders of big drug syndicates operating in the Philippines.
Co and Colangco are in jail and allegedly directing illegal drug operations from the New Bilibid Prison, while Lim is out of the country.
Duterte warned the inmates they risked death if they tried to escape.
“They destroy the country, they’re destroying the youth of the land. My appeal to them, since they are beyond redemption, they can stop and commit suicide because I will not allow these idiots to run their show not during my watch,” Duterte told reporters two days after revealing the names of five police generals involved in the illegal drug trade.
Duterte specifically pointed to retired Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy director general Marcelo Garbo Jr. as a protector of drug syndicates. A diagram provided to reporters linked Garbo to Co and Lim.
Duterte bared that Colangco was a member of the Kuratong Baleleng kidnapping syndicate-.
Co is the head of “Bilibid 19,” a group of convicted drug traffickers detained at the New Bilibid Prison, he said.
Co’s operations, he added, cover Luzon and Metro Manila.
Lim, who is reportedly behind the drug trade in the Visayas, goes in and out of the country based on information from PNP chief Director General Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa, Duterte said.
“The moment he lands at NAIA [airport], he will die. That is my assurance to the Filipino people,” he declared.
Solicitor General Jose Calida, who briefed reporters after a Cabinet security cluster meeting, said Garbo was the “coddler” of the top drug dealers.
“According to briefing we received earlier, he’s level five associate/protector. In short, coddler,” Calida said of Garbo.
Under the Dangerous Drugs Law, the same penalty is given to a drug lord, trafficker and coddler, he said.
Aside from Garbo, named by the President on Tuesday as protectors of drug syndicates were Director Joel Pagdilao, Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz and retired chief superintendent Vicente Loot.
All have denied the allegation and vowed to cooperate in government investigations.
Garbo claimed the President was given “wrong and poisonous” information.
The President also bared that a number of mayors were involved in drugs, but said he needed to verify the intelligence information he had received.
“Maraming mayor dito, we have a mayor sa Mindanao, babae pa [There are a lot of mayors here, we have a mayor in Mindanao, a woman at that],” Duterte said.
“I don’t want to condemn a person with what I think is insufficient information to include them in the matrix [of drug lords and their protectors],” Duterte added.
Calida said the President would reveal more names soon.
“Chinese nationals, PNP, BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) executives, LGU (local government unit) executives, other persons of interest, Duterte will divulge their identities in succeeding press conferences,” Calida said.