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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Narco-pols behind Maute/IS–Duterte

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DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte has disclosed the existence of a matrix implicating names of narco-politicians financing the Marawi siege—which started in May this year—and showing the extent of damage brought by drug problems in Mindanao.

Duterte showed the matrix for the second time running after his fifth visit in Marawi last Thursday, which included the name of slain Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr.

“I have something for you tonight [Friday]. I’ll just pass it on… That’s for public consumption already…how they operated the drug campaign in Marawi and the entire Mindanao,” Duterte told a gathering of the Davao media at Matina Enclaves here.

“That is the work of the intelligence for the last three months or two when we were able to penetrate the… insides of the… the entrails of the city,” he said.

“There they discovered that the Maute was really preparing for a long haul. Until now, they never ran out of ordnance, explosives, ammunitions, and all,” he said.

According to the Chief Executive, those identified as linked to the illegal drug trade were “really fighting over supremacy of the supply.”

RELAXING NOTES. President Rodrigo Duterte takes time off from the hectic demands of his office to soothe his tympanic membrane with novelty songs dished out by Norman Mitchell, a Davao-born comedian, whose genre is composed of parodies to entertain his audience. Malacañang Photo

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Eduardo Año said Friday the President and the military had information that suggested the Parojinog family of Ozamiz City were involved with the Maute group through their alleged illegal drugs operations.

Año added the military had attempted to find out how the Maute group raised the money to finance their attack on Marawi City, and they arrived at the conclusion that part of the money came from the illegal drug trade.

“When we tried to dig up everything, information about this, how the Maute-ISIS got this enormous money in doing this rebellion, part of that funds are from drugs. So we made the study and we analyzed…,” said the military commander.

Año also recounted that the President had mentioned the names of other local government officials who were involved in illegal drugs. 

He added: “It’s difficult to mention names, but one of these local government officials, Mayor Sabalna [Talitay, Maguindanao Mayor Montasir Sabalna], he is in hiding now, he is included in the matrix.”

According to Año “this is a report from the military not from the PNP.”

Duterte said he always wondered how the Maute group sustained high-caliber firearms and thousands of bullets—reason he asked the intelligence group to trace the financiers of the terrorist group.

“How come the Maute brothers and the terrorists were able to stockpile so much ordnance and bullets and ammunitions and IED? Where did they get those?” he said.

Duterte said the matrix did not show yet the entire picture of the problem of narcopoliticians financing the Marawi siege.

“To what extent was this drug used to build up the terrorist activity is something which we have really to find,” he said.

The matrix shows 11 alleged drug lords, including Chinese businessman and 19 drug dealers in the different parts of Mindanao.

During the clearing operations by the Philippine Marines, they recovered P52 million in cash and P27 million worth of checks in Maute’s strongholds last June 5.

It was alleged that the recovered money and checks came from the financiers of the terrorist group.

Several days after the recovery of money, police also recovered five kilos of shabu in the abandoned house of former Marawi mayor Sultan Fahad Salic and his brother incumbent Vice Mayor Arafat Salic.


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