Erap sets sights on drug lords

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Taking his cue from president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, reelected Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada wants to start his second term by taking down drug lords.

He said yesterday that he ordered the Manila Police District (MPD) to flush out all known drug traffickers in the city, particularly in Binondo, where police suspect several Chinese drug lords are still operating.

MPD deputy director for operations Senior Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo said the MPD has identified Chinese drug lords allegedly operating in Binondo and has several other reported drug traffickers in the Muslim community under surveillance.

“We will flush out all of them. We will shoot them, if they will fight,” Pedrozo said.

Estrada said the MPD will “neutralize the sources of these illegal drugs, the powerful ones managing those notorious drug rings. It’s either they get out of Manila now, or continue their operations here and hide, but either way, we will dig them out and expose them. This is no joke.”

Pedrozo said since becoming mayor in 2013, Estrada has shown drug lords no mercy.

He said that Estrada is known to give P100,000 as a reward to anyone who helped capture wanted drug pushers in the city.

“ Estrada really want to rid the city of illegal drugs. He really gave his full support to the campaign against illegal drugs. Change is really coming,” Pedrozo said.

When Estrada was vice president, he was presidential adviser on crime prevention and law enforcement and concurrent chairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission.

He established the Philippine Drug Abuse Resistance Education (PhilDARE) program in 1993 to address the growing problem of drug abuse among the youth.

PhilDARE is modeled after DARE, a substance abuse prevention education program that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior among the young. It was founded in Los Angeles in 1983.

At present, Manila is the only local government unit in the National Capital Region that implements the DARE program.

Duterte has offered P1 billion as a reward to kill 200 drug lords. Security has been tightened for the incoming president following reports that drug syndicates have put up as much as P100 million to kill him and Chief Superintendent Ronald de la Rosa, his choice for the next chief of the Philippine National Police.

De la Rosa has dared drug lords to assassinate him, telling them to “bring it on.”


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