Duterte clears Chinese businessman of involvement in drugs

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo R. Duterte cleared on Thursday Michael Yang, a Chinese businessman who owns the Davao City Los Amigos (DCLA) Plaza, from his alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

In his speech during the dinner with members of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Inc. (PMAAAI), Duterte said defended the businessmen from allegations that he is involved in illegal drugs.

He said his relationship with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jinhua proved he has no involvement in drugs and even joined the entourage of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit in the country last year.

“Kasama-kasama palagi ’yang – ’yang kasama-sama palagi ni Ambassador Zhao. Hindi mo rin maloko ’yan military ’yan eh. ’Yang ambassador natin military ’yan ng China. Kalokohan (He’s always with Ambassador Zhao. You cannot fool him because he is a military. Our ambassador is a military),” he said.

The President claimed the ambassador even sleeps at Yang’s residence.

He said Yang has been doing a retail business in the city for a long time before expanding to other parts of Mindanao. The DCLA’s first store is located in R. Magsaysay Avenue, known to locals as “Chinatown.”

The President said he remembered personally giving the Chinese businessman a stern warning that he will bury him alive if he finds out that Yang is involved in illegal drugs but he suspected it was the other businessmen associated with him who are involved with drugs.

He said he is not protecting any Chinese from their drug involvement.

“Mag-negosyo ka dito?” Sabi ko (‘You will do business here?’ I told him) – these are my exact words, “P—– i– mo. Do not f— with drugs because I will bury you alive,” he said.

The President was known for his hardline stance against drugs when he was mayor of Davao for 22 years.

“I will make it comfortable for everybody. Once you try to destroy that, I will kill you. Do not destroy the young of my land because they are our assets – our only assets,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)