Safety for info givers on cocaine bricks assured

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 March) — Mayor Rodrigo Duterte assured those who will help identify the location of the missing 11 bricks of cocaine that their identities will be safe.

“Ask someone else to report it for you,” Duterte said, referring to port workers who could report if any of their co-workers were in possession of the bricks.

Duterte had earlier offered  P100,000 reward for anyone who could provide information on the missing cocaine bricks.

He was referring to bricks of cocaine found in a container van at the Sumifru port in Tibungco two weeks ago.

The mayor suggested those who would give out information to ask the help of a third-party such as a priest or a barangay official. “Or tell me,” he said.

Duterte said it was possible that those who initially held on to some of the missing cocaine bricks were not aware of the contents.

“Maybe they thought it was money, or soap. And then I told them to return it and told the police to ask no questions if someone returned bricks,” he said.

Eventually, 29 of the 40 missing cocaine bricks turned over to police custody afterwards, as of last week.

This happened in a span of 72 hours, Duterte said.

Duterte recommended that the workers “do a Judas” on their  fellow workers so that the missing bricks are recovered.

He added that those reported to be in possession of the missing bricks who did not give it to police would not be charged with theft but with possession under the Dangerous Drugs Act.

“The sheer quantity of the cocaine in your possession would see you rot in jail for the rest of your life,” he said.

He warned those caught with the substance that they could die if they attempted to fight police apprehending them.

Duterte, meanwhile, said he was reserving his opinions on what happened, saying it was to early and “not in keeping with fairness.”

He added he would rather not blame forwarder Maersk and Sumifru management, especially since the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was yet to submit its final report.

Asked if he saw any lapses in the Bureau of Customs for the way the drugs were hidden in container vans, Duterte said the BOC was understandably swamped with the hundreds of cargoes they had to move from the ports to their intended destinations.

Duterte last week said it was possible Davao City had become a drug transshipment point. (MindaNews)