DAVAO CITY—Among the 35 mayors who are being probed for their alleged involvement in the narcotics trade are mayors in the provinces of the Davao region, incoming Philippine National Police director-general Chief Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa said Saturday.
“There are mayors involved in drugs in the nearby provinces of Davao region, just around Davao City,” Dela Rosa told journalists here after Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu submitted a list of politicians in his province who are also supposedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Dela Rosa did not identify the mayors but warned the “narco-politicians” that he will soon be going after them and they will be treated just like ordinary criminals.
“Those mayors who can feel that their new [chief of police] is hard-headed and won’t follow their orders, then, it’s them,” said Dela Rosa, adding that he will purposely assign his men to the narco-politicians to catch them.
He said that as soon as he sits down as the new PNP chief, he will have a major revamp and will personally pick 15 new regional directors who have the courage to fight government officials involved in illegal activities.
Dela Rosa said that the existing 15 regional directors have failed to do their jobs because the drug situation in our country is still the same.
Earlier this month, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte revealed that there are politicians as well as three generals who are into illegal drug activities.
Duterte even warned the generals to resign from their posts while he is not yet the president or he will humiliate them publicly.
One of the local leaders who was being tagged as being involved in narco-politics was Mangudadatu who submitted his own list of suspects as he vowed to help in Duterte’s anti-narcotics drive.
At the same time, Mangudadatu filed libel raps against media groups that claimed he and his brothers Khadaffy and Jong were among the drug lords in Maguindanao.
“In the list that I submitted to President Duterte, there are local officials engaged in illegal activities in the province, but I can’t tell you how many but surely there are,” Mangudadatu said.
Mangudadatu vehemently denied the allegations about him being involved in the illegal drug trade, saying that they are baseless accusations.
“I will not take this sitting down. Our legal team is working on it. There is a law against it and that is the cybercrime law,” he said.
Mangudadatu also revealed during the oath-taking ceremony that at least 20 individuals involved in the illegal drug trade have sent surrender feelers to his office.
Mangudadatu, a member of the Liberal Party, had expressed his support for the President-elect’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, in Quezon City, three drug suspects, including two members of the Joselito Gonzales drug group, were killed after they fought it out with drug enforcers during a raid on their lair Friday night.
Chief Inspector Enrico Figueroa, head of the District of Anti-Illegal Drugs special operations task group, identified the suspects as Darwin Moralla, 30, a certain Vergel/Rigor, both members of the Joselito drug group and one still unidentified.
Figueroa in his report said that the drug deal occurred at a small shanty situated at the UP Arboritum near Fael compound in Barangay UP Campus.
Recovered from suspects were three pieces of .38 revolver with ammunition, P10,000 in marked money, several sachets of shabu and drug paraphernalia.
He said the incident occurred after narcotics agents accompanied by an informant established a drug deal with the drug group, but Vergel sensed the presence of the police and tried to flee.
The group scampered in different direction but the police caught up with them and killed the suspects who fired guns at the pursuing cops.
Figueroa added that five other drug suspects were able to escape in the ensuing firefight.
Reports said that the neutralization of the three drug suspects were the result of the information provided by drug personalities who surrendered to authorities last week for fear of their safety.
Dozens of suspected drug pushers have already been killed in a span of two months after President-elect Rody Duterte highlighted his campaign promise to rid the country of illegal drugs.
At least 300 drug users and dealers in Quezon City turned themselves to the police ahead of the massive anti-illegal drug campaign by the Duterte regime.
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