WHEN he said back in 2016 that he would eradicate the illegal drug trade in six months, President Rodrigo Duterte said he thought the fight would be no different from the one he waged in his hometown Davao City.
“You can either coerce, intimidate or bribe them, or give them money and say, ‘Lumabas kayo ng Davao, doon kayo magkalat sa Luzon at sa ibang lugar (Get out of Davao, lay waste to Luzon and other places),’” Duterte recalled during his final State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, July 26, 2021.
Little did he know that he would be “fighting (his) own government” as nine police generals were involved in the illegal trade, he said.
“Because we are fighting a drug war that was being participated in the business by nine generals of the PNP, I did not know that I was fighting my own government,” Duterte said.
In 2016, Duterte identified five retired police generals, namely, Marcelo Garbo, former Daanbantayan mayor Vicente Loot, Joel Pagdilao, Edgardo Tinio and Bernardo Diaz, as protectors of the illegal drugs trade.
They all denied involvement in illegal drugs.