Palace: Duterte has 'plan in mind' vs narco-politicians in Marawi rebellion

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has a "plan in mind" against drug suspects who helped finance the Daesh-inspired Maute group that laid siege to Marawi City since May, a Malacañang spokesman said Monday.

"I'm sure the President has a plan in mind and let us wait for the next developments regarding the matter," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told a press conference.

Duterte released Friday night his so-called Lanao Del Sur Drug Trade Linked Diagram containing the names of some former and current officials in Mindanao allegedly involved in the illegal activities.

The President said the intelligence community completed the matrix for about two to three months, the time when the rebellion in Marawi City already started.

"We can all trust that the President – not just the President but the whole force of government – will be exercising [mandate], in order to make sure that his campaign promises regarding drugs and corruption and crime will be addressed," he added.

During a media event in Davao City last September 22, Duterte claimed that the local officials in Lanao Del Sur are the "main protagonists" in the long armed conflict in strife-torn Marawi City.

The matrix revealed the how some former and current officials in Mindanao operated the drug campaign in Marawi and the entire Mindanao."

Malacanang said the matrix underscores the ties that bind between illegal drugs and criminal and terrorist activities in the country.

In the drug matrix, Duterte named former Marantao mayor Mohammad Ali Abanal, Maguing Mayor Mamaulan Pangga Abinal Mulok, former Marawi City mayors Fahad "Pre" Salic and Omar Solitario Ali, and Parojinog Drug Trade involving slain Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.

The local politicians were allegedly connected to "shabu tiangges" in Maguing and Marawi City in Lanao Del Sur province.

Duterte also tagged 11 "drug lords" operating in Lanao Del Sur, including former mayor Muslimen Macabato, Buadipuso-Buntong Mayor Noron Dadayan, and Mulondo Mayor Hadju Jalam Adulsalam.

Abella said the drug matrix only proved that local executives, drug syndicates, and terror groups are part of a "circuitous troop."

"Apparently, it's a circuitous loop – government, drugs, [and] terror groups. So in a sense, they are apparently all part of this loop," the presidential spokesman said.

"The assumption is, without excluding external funding, part of the local funding to buy equipment, foods, stuff like that [for terrorist] is provided by the local sale of drugs, and which can only be done if being abetted by the local politicians," he added.

Abella, however, was not discounting the possibility that IS group was also funding the rebellion in the southern city since there are "multiple streams of income coming in."

"Let's put it this way: I suppose, there [are] multiple streams of income coming in. That's in a sense, in assumption. That's an assumption; that’s not a categorical statement." (SunStar Philippines)

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