Maguindanao mayor in drugs mess known Tuesday

Duterte was invited as “resource person” by the City Council to shed light on the illegal drugs situation in the city.

"I have no reason to doubt intelligence reports from the military and the police," Duterte said Sunday at the city government's television program Gikan sa Masa, para sa Masa" (From the Masses, For the Masses).

“I promised to name names because I was challenged to name names” by mayors in Maguindanao.

He said he accepted the challenged but was informed by some of the councilors in the city that there was going to be an investigation into the illegal drugs situation in the city so “I choose to just keep my silence now and will divulge the name of the mayor during the investigation on Tuesday.”

He said there were people who were quick to criticize why he didn’t have the mayor arrested when they knew his identity.

“Listen very carefully,” he said, “whether you are trading or into trafficking drugs or … in mere possession, you must be arrested with the drugs in your physical possession.”

Duterte said even if a druglord is photographed to be sitting on five sacks of illegal drugs and pursuit operations are launched, he cannot be arrested unless the drugs are in his possession.

Without it, he said, no case can be filed and if at all a case is filed, it won’t prosper.

Mayors Talib Abo of Parang, Maguindanao and Tocao Mastura of Sultan Kudarat also in Maguindanao, reportedly dared Duterte to name names to end the guessing game, as it also put all 28 Maguindanao mayors as suspect.

Duterte said the mayor he will name on Tuesday was earlier named by Luis Francisco, an illegal drugs trader who was arrested in Davao City and who invoked Section 33 of the anti-drugs law to be freed in exchange for information that would lead to the arrest of the other members of the syndicate.

Duterte said Francisco “mentioned several names” and that “one of the names he mentioned was the mayor of Maguindanao.’

Francisco, however, “continued with his trade,” Duterte said, adding, “he died almost a week ago” in Nova Tierra subdivision. “Sinong gustong sumunod sa inyo” (Who wants to be next?)

“Either it was a rub-out or he was killed by the DDS.” DDS is known in the area as “Davao Death Squad” .

Duterte said Francisco was under investigation for money laundering.

He said the two policemen reportedly involved in the illegal drugs trade cannot pass the lifestyle check.

Duterte said illegal drugs are “totally unacceptable” to him because the next generation of Filipinos could a a generation “na puro sabog sa droga” (destroyed by drugs). “You will be producing a generation of zombies here.”

He reminded the public that when he took his oath of office on June 30, 2004, he gave his assurance “that I will do everything humanly possible, hindi (not) legally possible…. to protect the interest of the people.”

Duterte said he will attend the session on Oct. 17 with Davao City police chief Catalino Cuy and an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Duterte warned young people against the effects of drugs. In an anti-drug addiction and gangsteerism forum last month, Duterte issued strongly worded pronouncements against drug pushers and users in Davao City.

But Duterte noted Sunday that it won't be easy to curb illegal drugs distribution in the city. He said the government cannot control drugs overnight.

“Not now, not tomorrow, not in the future. Hindi mawala ang droga dahil sa pera” (the illegal drugs issue will not disappear because of money), he said.

Duterte referred to the “corrupting influence of money” even in the central office of the PDEA in Manila. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)