At least two generals are involved in the illegal drug trade, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed on Thursday night, but neither named the generals nor identified whether they came from the military or the police.
“And right now, even as I fly here and go back, there are about again two generals who are still playing with drugs,” he said from Sochi, Russia, where he is on a five-day state visit.
In the same forum in Sochi attended by leaders from Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Jordan, President Duterte said at least nine generals were found to be involved in the illegal drug trade when he took over the presidency in 2016.
“We saw mayors, city mayors, and the chairman of the most basic unit of government, 50,000 into drugs. And when I took over, I found out about nine generals were involved in the trafficking of drugs,” he said.
I said I’m not only fighting corruption from the inside of government. I was fighting corruption and the trafficking of drugs even in my government. And that is why I had to do something very fast,” the President added.
This developed as Duterte’s anti-drug czar, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino, hit his predecessor Dionisio Santiago for asking him to resign.
What have you done for PDEA when you were chief about the problem of ‘ninja cops’?” he said.
Aquino said he conducted surveillance on the alleged shabu queen of Manila and found out the identity of the ninja cops, “something that Santiago failed to do in his four-year stint as PDEA director general.”
We have identified these ninja cops and we have been conducting surveillance on them. What has he done?” he asked.
He reacted to the statement of Santiago that the former must resign amid the controversies over the ninja cops.
I urged Santiago to just enjoy his private life and shut up,” Aquino said.
Aquino on Thursday claimed Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde asked him not to enforce any decision on the policemen’s motion for reconsideration on their dismissal from service.
The PDEA chief earlier said Albayalde only called him to seek updates on the case.
The Pampanga police officers are still on active duty, and the Justice department said it was expediting the review of their criminal cases.