FOREIGN drug lords operating in the country have started to flee the Philippines, moving to neighboring Asian countries and America in a supposed bid to relocate their operations, a source from the Bureau of Immigration said Saturday.
The source admitted they cannot hold or prevent from leaving foreigners, whose names are included in the order of battle of various law-enforcement agencies, because of the required court order or warrant of arrest.
But they are coordinating with foreign agencies in monitoring their movements since international drug enforcement agencies noted the presence in the country of persons of interest from Taiwan, China, Nigeria, Korea and citizens from unspecified Latin American countries.
Only recently, the authorities arrested a Nigerian in Marikina and a Korean at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The Nigerian suspect, identified as Ejike Oyoke, was nabbed inside a bar in Marikina City in possession of shabu. Oyoke is a suspected member of the West African drug syndicate.
A Korean woman who was supposed to leave for Busan was arrested after she was caught carrying 117 grams of hashish. Ahn Eun Ho was brought to the PDEA office after her arrest.
Meanwhile, the Duterte administration pressed its offensive against politicians who are allegedly protecting drug lords or are drug traffickers themselves, including a Leyte town mayor who recently surrendered to the police.
But President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not believe the claim of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa that he is not involved in the drug trade of his son Kerwin, hinting in a speech late Friday night that the elder Espinosa is trying to fool people.
“The mayor of Albuera, it’s good that he reached Bato. I ordered a shoot-on-sight order against him like a dog. What I think of him is that he’s a dog, because [Espinosa] is making dogs out of his people. Our sons have been made into stupid men,” Duterte said in a speech in Cebu City.
“You know, if someone in your family encounters drugs, then we already have a problem,” Duterte said.
On Tuesday, Espinosa surrendered following Duterte’s 24-hour ultimatum and admitted that his son Kerwin, who is still at large, was dealing drugs with Chinese drug triad leader Peter Co currently detained at the New Bilibid Prison.
The younger Espinosa is said to have flown to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 21, more than two weeks before Duterte assumed the presidency.
“I know Boholanos to be law-abiding and God-fearing, but why is drugs flooding all over? Where is this coming from? That mayor should be the culprit,” Duterte said of Espinosa, who authorities suspect of being the biggest drug dealer in the Eastern Visayas region.
Meanwhile, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said he could no longer stomach the killings of suspected drug users and peddlers.
“I do not have to be a bishop to say this. I do not have to be a Catholic to be disturbed by the killings that jar us every time we hear or watch or read the news,” the prelate said in a statement.
“My humanity is in grief. I am in utter disbelief... This is too much to swallow,” Villegas said.
“A portion of my humanity dies when a fellow human dies. Who can say the killed is innocent or guilty? Both the guilty and the innocent are humans,” Villegas said.
He lamented the sight of a parent and a child grieving over loved ones killed on the sidewalk “or thrown in grassy areas hogtied or masked with tape”.
The Catholic prelate said he fears that the country would turn into a “killing fields” nation in its dream to wipe out drug addiction.
Villegas emphasized that he agrees that the youth need a safe and wholesome environment without the menace of drugs.
“We share the dream... It is a great dream for young humanity,” he said, noting however that the “little voice of humanity in us” that is disturbed by the killings is “drowned out by the louder voice of revenge or silenced by the sweet privileges of political clout.”
“I pray that humanity be regained so that the killers may listen to the voice of conscience--that conscience that has been dulled by the sight of too much blood everywhere,” he said.
Villegas meanwhile said he no longer cares if he gets bashed in the social media for his statement.
He however said he believes that reason will prevail and humanity will win in the end.
“I believe. I refuse to be forsaken in this belief. I believe in humanity,” he said.
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