WHO is the drug lord retired general Marcelo Garbo is said to be protecting? Peter Lim.

That’s what it says in a chart of a drug triad in Asia that Solicitor General Jose Calida presented to the public yesterday, July 7.

Peter Lim, “a.k.a Jaguar,” is part of the drug triad along with Wu Tuan alias Peter Co and Herbert “Ampang” Colangco.

From the chart, Lim is identified as head of the Triad Visayas and is protected by Garbo, former director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 and who retired from service last year.

He is the Peter Lim who, along with his brother Wellington, faced a congressional inquiry on the illegal drug trade back in July 2006.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in a recorded video released by PTV 4 yesterday, said of Peter Lim, “He goes in and out of the Philippines. If he has friends here, please tell him: The moment he lands in NAIA, he will die. The moment he steps out of the plane, he will die.”

House inquiry

Then congressman Antonio Cuenco, who presided the congressional inquiry as chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, refrained from commenting on Malacanang’s revelation until he could be sure it is the Peter Lim he met at the inquiry.

Peter Lim was among the subjects of a congressional inquiry on the 14-K, a notorious international Chinese drug ring, and a group of Cebu smugglers called the “Magnificent 7.”

In a press conference, Solicitor General Calida said the three men belong to the “Level 5” drug syndicate.

Wu Tuan alias “Peter Co” operates in Luzon and the National Capital Region; Peter “Jaguar” Lim handles the operations in the Visayas; and Herbert “Ampang” Colangco.

“Triad comes from Mainland China. There are five levels, depending on the capability of the drug pusher to sell. These are categorized either in grams or kilograms. The level five is the top tier of the drug hierarchy,” Calida said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said Level 5 drug lords distribute more than 100 kilos of drugs per shipment.

Whereabouts

Based on the information they obtained, Calida said Co and Colangco are detained at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

Co is allegedly the leader of the so-called Bilibid 19 gang while Colangco is a drug lord involved in a kidnap-for-ransom and bank robbery syndicate, which is in alliance with the Parojinog Drug Syndicate or Kuratong Baleleng.

Lim is out of the country and had been warned by Duterte that he will be killed if he steps into the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Calida said that retired police general Marcelo Garbo, who has been named by Duterte as one of five drug protectors, is allegedly an “associate and protector” of the alleged drug lords.

Garbo has denied the accusation of being a drug lord and said it was a smear campaign.

Apart from Garbo, Duterte also named retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot, Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, Director General Joel Pagdilao, and Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio.

In his recorded message, Duterte said he has tasked the Department of Interior and Local Government to investigate Garbo. 

The others

Calida said the Duterte administration is now also hunting other “persons of interest” known to be associates of the top tier drug syndicates.

“It is composed of the following: Chinese nationals, PNP officials, BJMP officials, LGU officials—many of them are mayors—and other persons of interest,” Calida said.

“Our President will divulge their identities in succeeding press conferences,” he said.

Duterte said he will not allow drug syndicates to destroy the country under his watch.

“These drug people are shaming us. They are destroying the country, they are destroying the youth of the land,” Duterte said.

Asked what the Department of Justice will do next, Secretary Aguirre said Police Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa has arranged with the Special Action Force (SAF) “who will be taking over the prison guards, employees so that the old guards and employees can be taken out for re-training and re-education as soon as possible.”

Tomas in list?

In Cebu City, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said at a press conference Wednesday that he expects the administration to be dropping names of politicians involved in drugs.

Did he expect to be in the list? He replied: “That’s the line they’re trying to say that I’m protecting Jaguar. Okay fine, okay raman na, sport na man ko.”

There have been reports that Osmeña had protected Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, who police said was the top drug personality in Central Visayas. Diaz was killed in a police operation in Las Piñas City on June 17, 2016.

Osmeña had said that Diaz had offered to finance his mayoral bid but he turned down the offer.

“Even if Duterte will say Tomas Osmeña is protecting the drug lords, it’s the Cebuanos who know better. They can judge me and I will just answer the allegations because they’re trying to lead up to that,” he said. Sunnex