Duterte sees drug, rice smuggling link | Inquirer News

Duterte sees drug, rice smuggling link

/ 12:29 AM February 23, 2014

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is seeing a link between rice and drug smuggling in the city, saying the two could be intertwined.

Duterte made the statement after a raid on a drug den here that led to the killing of at least seven suspected drug traders.


Duterte said that following the raid, he started to believe that “high-grade shabu” was being shipped into the city together with rice from nearby Asian countries.


Duterte said he knew for sure the shabu being seized in recent buy-bust operations in the city came from foreign sources.

“If it’s made in the Philippines, we would know it because it is like alum (locally known as tawas) because it comes in chunks,” said Duterte.

“But the powdery, refined ones, those are high-grade, and it has been appearing in at least two buy-bust operations by the police,” he told reporters here on Friday.

Duterte said the prevalence of high-grade shabu in the city was one of the reasons he became very aggressive in the campaign against rice smuggling.

He said it was possible that for every 1,500 sacks of rice smuggled into the city, smugglers “insert some three or four sacks” of drugs “as a ride-on.”

While not saying categorically that the shipment of shabu that was seized in a raid on Friday in Barangay (village) Ilang in Tibunco district here could be considered high-grade, Duterte said the raid was one of the city government’s major accomplishments in the war on drugs.


At least seven suspected drug dealers were killed and several others, including a Korean national, were arrested during the raid on a cluster of houses in the Muslim Village in Ilang by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Southern Mindanao, the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Davao City police.

Chief Insp. Jed Clamor, spokesperson of the Southern Mindanao police, said the operation was also considered massive as it was backed by Army and naval support.

Clamor said that backed by warrants, authorities swooped down on at least 26 shanties being used as drug dens and were met by gunfire.

Noli Dimaandal, PDEA Southern Mindanao spokesperson, said the suspects resisted arrest and seven of them were killed in the process.

Senior Supt. John Michael Dubria, intelligence chief of the Southern Mindanao police office, said that aside from shabu, authorities also seized marijuana in the area.

“This has been the result of months of careful planning, with authorities even using a deep penetration agent to make sure we hit the right target,” Dubria said.

The death of seven suspects during the raid was seen by locals here as part of the “Duterte style” against criminality.

“They were liquidated,” was the quick reaction of a jeepney driver passing by the area.

Duterte has been accused of ordering the execution of suspected drug personalities in the past and was investigated by the Department of Justice for the more than 1,000 extrajudicial killings that took place here since 1998.

While he denied any link to the killings, suspected drug traders are now considered dead men walking after Duterte read their names on his weekly television program.

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The feisty mayor earned the ire of rights advocates anew when he publicly announced he would shoot accused rice smuggler Davin Tan if he caught him in the act of bringing in undocumented rice. Reports from Germelina Lacorte and Dennis Santos, Inquirer Mindanao

TAGS: Crime, Drugs, News, Regions, Smuggling

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