PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has revealed that the Philippines has turned into a "client state" of triads based in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
On Tuesday night, Duterte said Hong Kong-based 14K and Taiwan-based United Bamboo triads are behind the drug proliferation in the country.
"The drug proliferation, it's been operated by the 14K [and] Bamboo Triad. They have taken over. They are cooking the shabu on the high seas," the President said in a speech at the 120th anniversary celebration of the Department of Justice.
Aside from being responsible for the drug proliferation in the country, triads were using the Philippines as a transshipment point to America.
"It behooves upon America to work closely with the Republic of the Philippines, especially on this serious matter," the President said.
Duterte revealed that the country was "flooded" with illegal drugs.
"We are in trouble. And this is the first time that I would reveal it because we're talking about the Constitution and the interest of our country, and of course, the bill of rights and due process," he said.
Duterte said he was not blaming the Chinese government over the drug menace in the Philippines but he decried the involvement of some Chinese nationals in the transnational organized crime syndicates.
"The Philippines today is a client state of a Bamboo triad. They have taken over the operations of -- sad to say -- Chinese but I do not mean the country and the people. In a sense that most of them are really into this kind of business. I said they have decided to go international," he added.
Duterte, who have launched a brutal campaign against drugs since last year, maintained that his drug crackdown would remain relentless.
"I almost became a liar because I said that I will finish the job three to six months," he said. "Drugs, I will treat them harshly. So if you can find an appropriate synonym of what is harsh, then that's it."
The 14K and United Bamboo triads have long been known as drug syndicates supposedly supplying illegal drugs to the Philippines. (SunStar Philippines)