Palace: List of gov't officials with alleged drug links 'will make you vomit'
(philstar.com) - July 17, 2016 - 4:35pm
Unbelievable. Hard to look at. Enough to make you vomit.
 
Those were the words used by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to describe the matrix submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte showing government and police officials with alleged ties to drug syndicates.
 
“What I know is that I’ve seen the drug matrix of those who are allegedly involved in the sale of illegal drugs. What I can only tell you, that if you see the matrix, you’ll probably say that it is really unbelievable that such a high number of people are already involved,” Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB yesterday.
 
“Masusuka ka pag makikita mo (It will make you vomit),” he added.
 
Citing conservative estimates from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Andanar said about 1.8 million people are involved in illegal drugs.
 
“If you see some of the personalities involved the sale of illegal drugs, it (matrix) is really hard to look at,” Andanar said without elaborating.
 
Duterte will reveal the names of other persons of interest “in time,” the communications chief added.
 
On July 15, the president revealed that he has a matrix of local officials and policemen who are allegedly involved in the narcotics trade. He said he would announce the names of drug coddlers once he validates the information linking them to the illegal activity.
 
Duterte’s shame campaign against people allegedly involved in illegal drugs started last July 5 when he accused five retired and active police officers of protecting drug lords.
 
Accused of being involved in narcotics were retired police deputy director general Marcelo Garbo, Jr., retired police general and newly-elected Daanbantayan, Cebu mayor Vicente Loot, former National Capital Region Police Office head Chief Supt. Joel Pagdilao, former Quezon City Police District director Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, and Western Visayas regional director Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz.
 
All of them have denied the allegation and claimed that the president was just given wrong information. They have also expressed readiness to subject themselves to investigations.
 
Two days later, Duterte announced the names of three people whom allegedly belong to the top tier of the drug trade in the country.
 
The president identified the alleged drug bigwigs as Wu Tuan alias “Peter Co,” and Herbert Colangco alias “Ampang,” both of whom are detained at the National Bilibid Prison; and Peter Lim alias “Jaguar.”
 
Duterte said Lim, who reportedly goes in and out of the country, would be killed once he sets foot in the Philippines.
 
A Cebu-based businessman named Peter Lim met with Duterte in Davao City last Friday to deny his involvement in the sale of illegal drugs. The president, however, threatened to kill him if it is proven that he is a drug lord.
 
Duterte, nevertheless, told Lim to hire a lawyer and allow himself to be investigated by authorities.
 
“We are not here to pin down innocent citizens,” Duterte told Lim.
 

‘Clear your name’

 
Andanar encouraged other Peter Lims to emulate the Cebu-based businessman and to present their side to authorities.
 
“The alleged drug lord Peter Lim has come out in the open. He cleared his name and he has expressed his intention to the president that he will do just that. Now, the burden now is on Peter Lim and we do encourage the rest of the suspects to do the same,” Andanar said.
 
Asked if Duterte would apologize once it is proven that the Peter Lim who surfaced is innocent, Andanar said: “Let’s just wait until the final investigation comes out. Let’s just wait for Mr. Peter Lim’s evidence and what he can show to clear him from this allegation.”
 
Pressed why Duterte allowed Lim to live despite his previous threat that he would be killed if he returns to the country, Andanar replied: “Peter Lim has already expressed his intentions to clear his name, let’s leave it at that.”
 
Andanar also belied allegations that only poor drug pushers or users are being killed while big-time drug lords are still free. He said such claims should be backed by evidence.
 
“As far as I can remember in the history, I have not seen a president who has been so brave in announcing to the public the people who have been or allegedly are behind this menace of drugs,” Andanar said. 

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