Expect another big drug bust

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday evening issued a gag order on all local authorities who raided a suspected drug den in Barangay Ilang, Tibungco District where a 14-year-old boy was among those killed, while saying that authorities are working on another major drug bust.

Duterte had a meeting with the operatives composed of the Davao City Police Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Criminal Detection and Investigation Group (CIDG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other agencies at the Grand Men Seng Hotel on February 25 at 8 p.m.

However, the media was not allowed to cover the entire meeting that lasted for more or less 30 minutes, and were told to just wait after the meeting.

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“I will not allow them (authorities) to talk,” Duterte told the members of the media before the meeting.

“They were there (Ilang) for a specific mission -- to search and to seize and to arrest the people in connection with drugs, kaso lumaban. Unfortunately, yung bata tinamaan. I’m not ready to say kung kaninong bala ang tumama (on the 14-year-old),” Duterte said in an interview after the meeting.

He said the operatives showed to him the report of the investigation, which he demanded from them after learning that a minor was among those killed.

“I’m satisfied with the explanation. Tinamaan yung bata and we cannot determine kaninong baril yun but it was done in connection with the performance of duty of arresting these suspected criminals,” he said.

Duterte said he has not spoken with the family of the minor yet, but he is planning to meet with Masil Ahalul, deputy mayor of Tausug tribe in Davao City, and the community in Barangay Ilang.

“Also I am interested to know why it was flourishing there bakit naging (shabu) tiangge,” he said.

He said he knew that there was going to be an operation in Ilang prior to the raid since he provided the funds for about three months.

“Lahat (vital information) nakuha namin, pati yung kotse na magpapark lang tapos bababa and get a fix there and balik naman sa kotse,” he said.

He said they could have arrested these persons before but since the Supreme Court is “very strict” on the manner of arrest, they had to plan it carefully.

“Pero alam namin ang mga kotse na pumupunta diyan,” he said.

Duterte said the suspected tiangge in Barangay Ilang caters to many clients, including minors.

When asked why the place became a shabu tiangge, Duterte said it has become the residents’ livelihood.

He said the Korean national, who was among the suspects arrested, “has to face the music.”

“He would be entitled to all the rights under the constitution and under international law but he will be arrested, he will face the music,” he said.

Duterte also revealed that the operatives are working on another “hot bed” for illegal drugs in the metropolis.

“Mayroon pang operation going on. I just hope it will succeed. We are waiting for something big. Actually, the hot bed before was Mini Forest (Barangay 23-C) tapos lumipat doon sa Ilang, tapos meron dito sa isa pa. PDEA is working on it and we expect some positive results in the next days to come,” he said.

He said Barangay 23-C is still under the surveillance of the authorities.

The residents, mostly parents, of Barangay 23-C requested for police visibility in the area after their children got hooked on drugs.

“I’m very scared that’s why I spend so much in peace and order fund. Malaki ang gastos ko diyan sa drugs pati human trafficking. For as long as there will be a shabu in my city, there will be a continuing fight, a war against drugs,” he said.

Duterte said he cannot identify yet where the supply of illegal drugs is coming from since Davao City is “very porous.”

“Maraming lusutan dito. Kahit sa dagat,” he said.

Duterte, in his Sunday television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa,” said he never anticipated that a child would be among those killed in such a raid.

"It's always a sad story. Some people are willing to take risk all because of the money. It (Death) is possible, especially if you put up a fight with the authorities. Gikasubo nako diri kay isa sa mga namatay 14-years-old (What I regret is the death of a 14-year-old)," Duterte said.

CIDG regional director Senior Supt. Joel Pernito identified the fatalities as Dark Abdul Nawang, Runel Morguie, Bobby Solo, Faisal Abahe, Musa Sailama, Jamrel Sulame, and Wahid Saquili, all residents of Ilang.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 27, 2014.

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