President Rodrigo Duterte vowed Tuesday to mobilize the entire government machinery to combat illegal drugs.
“I will issue a memorandum circular directing the entire government machinery to mobilize its assets
and to take an active role in government’s anti-illegal drug campaign nationwide,” he said.
To move the anti-drug campaign forward, he said, he will activate a National Anti-illegal Drug Task Force.
The task force will be composed of the personnel from the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs, the Coast Guard, and other agencies of the government, he said.
The President’s remarks were made in relation to his concern that drug money would mar the 2019 midterm elections.
“Look closely at this election, you will see. Drug money will play here,” the President said during a talk on drugs and militarization Tuesday evening.
He did not expound on his prediction, however, but again attacked the Parojinog family for its alleged links to the illegal drug trade in Ozamiz City.
READ: Mandatory dope test on students triggers uproar
At the same event, the President said he only called for military intervention in the Bureau of Customs as far as security protocols are concerned, following the alleged entry of billions of pesos worth of shabu.
“When I called in the Army to help the Bureau of Customs, there was no designation, there was no appointment and there was never an instruction for them to take over the functions of the employees,” Duterte said.
He also admitted it would take him more than a decade to probe every single personnel in the bureau for corruption.
“So, what I did was to order them on floating status, but that was a particular order directed to section chiefs, but their assistants will be the one working,” he said.
At the same time, Duterte said he would give a policeman who killed his superior for his involvement in illegal drugs with a trip to Hong Kong, and said he would offer a similar reward to officers who kill other “ninja” or corrupt cops.
“Last night, a police colonel was killed. He was there in the crawler. He was killed by a police. Yes, his co-policeman killed him,” he said.
“I am going to reward that policeman. Any policeman who will kill a superior because the superior is into drugs, I will give you a prize and a trip to Hong Kong,” Duterte said, offering a cash bounty as well.
“Yes, it’s true. If you want to convert it into money. Did I say P3 million? Yes. Kill them, P3 million,” he added.
Talking to his Cabinet, the President was referring to Supt. Santiago Ylanan Rapiz, who was killed in a drug buy-bust in Dipolog City on Monday evening.
Rapiz, chief of the logistics branch of the Zamboanga del Norte police, allegedly fought back when authorities tried to seize him during the drug raid.
Authorities believed Rapiz had been recycling and reselling illegal drugs seized from drug operations of the PNP.
He was also accused of being a “protector” of slain business couple Melvin and Merriam Odicta, who were both gunned down in August 2016 for links to illegal drugs in Iloilo.
The President said he would need the help of the military to assist the police in their operations as the country’s drug problem has already become a “national security issue.”
He also said some of the police and local government officials, from mayors to barangay captains, play a dirty role in the drug trade.
“This is a national security issue. I have every right to call on the Armed Forces to assist the police. Many of those are policemen who are stupid. Son of a bit**,” he said.
“If I caught you, I’m sorry. That’s it,” he warned, saying again that he would “really kill” violators involved in the illegal drug trade.
In his third State-of-the-Nation Address, Duterte warned that the administration’s centerpiece program against illegal drugs would remain “relentless and chilling.”
READ: Rody boosts war on drugs via PADS