Davao City police superintendent Catalino Cuy said they were not yet ready to identify the mayor, whom Duterte mentioned in his regular Sunday television program on October 1 as coming "from Maguindanao."
But Cuy confirmed Duterte's revelation about the illegal drugs shipment. He said they received information about the mayor suspected in the transport of the illegal drugs and said it happened two weeks ago. Cuy did not give details "to avoid jeopardizing the ongoing police investigation".
"Until we get strong evidence, we will not name him," Cuy told MindaNews after a press conference Thursday.
Duterte told reporters this week the town mayor along with two Davao City Police office personnel delivered 3.5 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to Davao using an ambulance
Vehicles from other parts outside Davao City go through a checkpoint for inspection, either in the northern or southern part.
Another report said it was a 35-kilo delivery. Duterte did not sa if the delivery was made in areas outside Davao City.
Duterte said two policemen were supposed to conduct buy-bust operation but the two instead helped the town mayor evade arrest.
Duterte has warned the mayor-suspect to avoid the city so his life will not be "put on the line". "Someday, we will see each other, you watch out," he said. In a separate interview, Duterte said the mayor he was referring to was a regular visitor here.
"In fact, I received information that as I was talking on TV, he was in a local hotel and later on identified in a checkpoint," he said.
Earlier, Duterte warned against police's involvement in illegal activities. In the city's campaign against "video carera" gaming, Duterte warned that "either they will bring the truth to us or they will bring the truth to their grave."
Cuy said the two policemen, sensing they were the ones alluded to by Duterte, denied participation when probers approached them. "But we are also closely watching them," he said. He said they have already coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on the matter.
Cuy said they have set no timeframe when to identify the suspect or when the investigation would last. "But we are closely monitoring the whereabouts of the suspect," he said.
He said it might be unfair for the other mayors of the province of Maguindanao. "But it would also be unfair to name the suspect without the evidence," he said.
As of now, Cuy stressed, "all reported information have remained as information to be verified.” (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)