‘Dangerous years ahead in drug war’

Cebu City—President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued a stern warning Sunday that he will make the remaining years of his presidency the “most dangerous years” for people who are into drugs.

READ: Duterte goes all out for war on drugs

Duterte noted during a sortie of the ruling party’s senatorial candidates here that illegal drugs have created social dysfunction that directly affects Filipino families.

“Consider my last three years as the most dangerous years for people who are into drugs either pusher, trafficker, or drug lord… I will make it very dangerous for you to live,” Duterte told the crowd that attended the PDP-Laban rally at the Plaza Independencia.

He said he had warned the drug syndicates at the start of this term after the 2016 presidential elections that he would go after them.

He described a person addicted to drugs as having a “monkey riding on his back” that keeps scratching and biting and makes him commit other crimes just to sustain his addiction.

The President warned of the impact that drugs would have on a family.

READ: Drug war success validated—Palace

“The money intended for the family [would be used for drugs]. Like rice, no more [food] would reach the table. Children could no longer go to school because the tuition and other stuff are gone,” he said in Bisaya. “The family becomes dysfunctional.”

Duterte reiterated his earlier warning that the ill-effects of drugs on the human brain would make a person commit crimes such as rape. He deplored incidents when drug addicts raped even a toddler.

He warned those who are not yet into drugs to refrain from doing so because this would make their lives miserable.

“Those who have not started yet, please don’t… Those who have started already, if you can stop it, please stop it, just bear the hardships in the rehabilitation center,” Duterte said.

He also warned the so-called narco-generals against “committing treason” against their fellowmen.

The President mentioned Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot, a retired one-star police general, who was one of the five alleged narco-generals he named at the beginning of his term in 2016.

In a speech during the distribution of conditional cash transfer benefits at the Cebu Trade University before the evening rally at Plaza Independencia, he also warned residents of Talisay that he intended to wipe out illegal drugs in that city.

Meanwhile, residents of Davao Oriental coastal town of Caraga fished out 39 bricks of cocaine worth P215 million Sunday, prompting the Police Regional Office-11 to ask the Coast Guard to scour the province’s coast.

Residents of Purok Talisay in Barangay Santiago found the cocaine bricks, in four bundles, at around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

At past 11 a.m. Monday, three more bricks were fished out in the same area where the cocaine bundles were found, police said.

PDEA-Region 11 Director Antonio Rivera said the bricks were confirmed to be cocaine after laboratory tests. Each brick, he said, contained a kilo of cocaine.

Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office-11 director, said he has already requested the Coast Guard to scour the area as there may be more cocaine bricks that are still floating in the Pacific coast.

In a press conference Monday, the Davao City Police Office and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency presented the recovered bricks of cocaine bricks brought from the area by village councilor Emeliano Bantayan of Barangay Santiago.

Bantayan was escorted by the local police and the Army’s 701st Infantry Brigade.

Morales said the bricks of cocaine were similar to the 34 bricks found floating off the waters of Surigao del Sur based on the packaging.

“These are subject of our investigation. We have to determine the source and origin,” Morales said.

Rivera, however, said the bricks found in Caraga appeared to be new, while the ones found in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat provinces two weeks ago already have moss on the boxes.

Rivera said he cannot discount the possibility that the bricks were intentionally dumped.

“We have asked the residents to be wary of their area and to immediately report to the police if they see suspicious items,” Rivera said.

Morales said that based on the list obtained by PRO-11, at least 20 domestic and foreign vessels passed through the waters of Davao Oriental seas since Feb. 14. 

Morales said residents should immediately report any discovery of illegal drugs or face legal consequences.

Morales said the cocaine bricks could have originated from Mexico and Columbia.

The first batch of bricks of cocaine was fished out from the waters off Vinzons town in Camarines Norte province earlier this month.

The package was brought to the Camarines Norte Provincial Crime Laboratory Office for examination and authorities found out that it contained cocaine weighing 1,026.19 grams worth P5.4 million. 

READ: Drug war wins nod of most Filipinos

READ: US backs Rody’s ‘harsher’ drug war

Topics: Rodrigo R. Duterte , PDP-Laban rally , war on drugs , Antonio Rivera
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