Duterte not blaming Taiwan for drug trade, says Palace
President Duterte is not blaming any country for the proliferation in the Philippines of illegal drugs which were brought here by criminal groups, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said, “(Mr. Duterte) did say that he was not blaming any particular country, but that there was organized crime that was behind all this drug traffic. And he did refer to Bamboo triad.”
Abella issued the statement after Taiwan denied any knowledge of illegal drug exports to the Philippines. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) also asked the administration to provide information on the gang that was supposedly bringing in the narcotics.
Teco serves as Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Manila in the absence of diplomatic relations with the Philippines.
Mr. Duterte said in a speech on Tuesday that the Philippines was a “client state” of the Bamboo triad, apparently referring to the Bamboo gang, the Taiwan-based organized crime group linked to criminal activities, including drug trafficking.
The President also said the Philippines was being used as a transshipment point for drugs brought to the United States and urged the latter to work with the country to address the matter.
Abella surmised that Mr. Duterte had “credible international sources” to back up his statements.
As for Taiwan’s request for information, he said the President had to be told about this, “and if he finds it necessary, he will respond.”
The Philippines has a one-China policy and maintains diplomatic ties with Beijing, which considers Taiwan its province.
Manila has cultural ties with Taipei and maintains the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in the Taiwanese capital.
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