WHILE he conceded that the Triad organized crime syndicate was running the Southeast Asian drug trade, President Rodrigo Duterte said that a thorough investigation was needed before the Chinese could be solely blamed for the country’s illegal drugs problems.
Furthermore, Duterte, while pointing to a 2014 incident in Davao City during which P500 million in cocaine was found in the ceiling of a shipping container, asserted that it was likely that South American drug gangs were also responsible for the influx of drugs.
“And [Sinaloa] it’s doing its thing, the Medellin Cartel, using the network of containers. That is why do not conclude right away that the owner of the container is the smuggler of the drugs. The smugglers and the [Sinaloa] have a captive audience inside,” said Duterte, who was speaking during the launch of former President Fidel Ramos’ book “Prosper Thy Neighbor”.
“Kaya kawawa naman ‘yung mga tao especially the legit importers and their containers are taken advantage of by criminal gangs,” he added. “So there has to be a thorough investigation before we start to blame mostly Chinese.
“So what’s more important really is not to drag along innocent people into a criminal case which we are not sure of,” Duterte said.
The Reuters wire service reported in 2016 that mainland China drug gangs played a dominant role in the Philippine drug trade.
According to the report, meth or shabu was smuggled in from China and was typically passed from large ships to smaller vessels, mainly off the coast of the northern Luzon. Packages were sometimes dropped into the sea off the coasts, picked up and then was passed on to local drug traffickers.
Duterte, however, claimed that the drugs were no longer coming from China, but were instead “being cooked in trawlers, in dilapidated ships just along the coasts, international borders.”