Sotto says Chinese gov’t has ‘same headache’ on illegal drugs as PH
MANILA, Philippines —The Chinese government “has the same headache that we have” in addressing the problem of illegal drugs, Senate President Vicente Sotto III pointed out on Saturday.
“The Chinese govt has the same headache that we have. Meth precursor substances might be coming mostly from China but it does not mean their govt is behind it,” Sotto said in a Viber message to reporters.
“We should be careful lest we insinuate such. In fact our narcotic enforcers work with anti narc(otic) officers of China also,” Sotto added.
Earlier, Vice President Leni Robredo said the government should look into reports that most of the illegal drug supply into the Philippines is coming from China.
Robredo co-chairs the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and had already met with anti-drug officials from the United States to discuss possible partnership in addressing the illegal drug problem in the Philippines.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino, who co-chairs ICAD with Robredo, said the Vice President might have only been misinformed about China being the main source of illegal drugs being smuggled into the country.
Aquino said Robredo’s supposed confusion might have been due to PDEA’s presentation of different packagings of Chinese tea where illegal drugs were being concealed by drug traders. The PDEA presentation was made during ICAD’s law enforcement cluster meeting last week.
Aquino explained that it is the style of the Golden Triangle Syndicate operating in the borders of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand to transport illegal drugs inside Chinese tea packagings. Aquino added that this does not mean that the drugs are coming from China.
Robredo has also opened the possibility of talking to the Chinese government in a bid to curb the illegal drug trade.
Edited by MUF
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