TWO Philippine generals are “still playing” with illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte disclosed at a Russian think tank forum.
“And right now, even as I fly here and go back. There are about again two generals who are still playing with drugs,” Duterte said in the forum attended by other world leaders, Russian officials, policymakers, international experts, academicians and journalists.
He, however, did not identify the two generals or specify whether they are from the police or the military.
Duterte made the revelation as the Philippine National Police and its chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, are embroiled in an illegal drug recycling and other related controversies.
“And I said, ‘Well, I told you do not destroy my country because it is being flooded with drugs,’” the President added.
Duterte said this as he underscored the urgency of ridding the government of corruption and illegal drugs.
“I’m not only fighting corruption from the inside of government. I was fighting…corruption and the trafficking of drugs even in my government. And that is why I had to do something very fast,” he added.
Duterte also told the forum that when he assumed the presidency in 2016, he found nine generals involved in drug trafficking.
“You know, during the time of two presidents ago, we were told by the United States itself that if we do not take care, if we do not watch out, our country will be swallowed by drugs,” he said.
“And we saw mayors, city mayors, and the chairman of the most basic unit of government, 50,000 into drugs. And when I took over, I found out about nine generals were involved in the trafficking of drugs,” he added.
In the same forum, the President defended his brutal war on drugs and slammed critics.
He stressed that his administration only “seek(s) to protect our republic [from] those who wish to tear it apart.”
PNP ready to probe generals
The Philippine National Police leadership yesterday said it is ready to investigate reports that two active police generals are involved in illegal drug activities.
“Nakahanda ang PNP na humarap sa anumang posibleng pagdinig o imbestigasyon na gagawin upang bigyan ng linaw ang ulat na may dalawa pang heneral ang nananatiling may kaugnayan sa iligal na droga,” said PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac in a statement.
“Maliban sa isinagawang imbestigasyon ng Senado, wala tayong nalalaman o natatanggap na anumang ulat na mayroon matataas na opisyal ng pulisya na diumano’y sanggkot sa iligal na droga.
Tinitiyak natin sa publiko na ang PNP ay mananatiling tapat, propesyonal at disiplinado, at patuloy ang maigting na kampanya laban sa kriminalidad, illegal na droga, gayundin ang internal cleansing. Ang lahat ng lalabag sa batas ay mananagot at hindi natin hahayaan na manatili ang mga tiwaling pulis sa ating hanay,” Banac said.
With Alfred Dalizon