Drug suspects lying low in Davao City after Duterte’s ultimatum – cops
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Police here have claimed that suspected drug pushers have been lying low since Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned them on Monday afternoon that they had 48 hours to get out of the city or be killed.
The apparent lull in drug activities also came in the wake of Tuesday’s death of a village watchman during a buy-bust operation.
Senior Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of the city police office, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer they were unsure if the suspected drug pushers had disappeared for good.
But she said that based on intelligence monitoring, a number of them have left Dewey Boulevard, the area that Duterte mentioned during Monday’s command conference with the military and the police.
“Yes, we have monitored that some had left,” Driz said, without giving specifics.
On Monday, Duterte gave drug pushers living in the city, particularly on Dewey Boulevard, 48 hours to leave the city or be killed.
“If you are into drugs, I’m warning you. I’m giving you 48 hours, 48 hours. If I see you there (Dewey), I’ll have you killed,” the tough-talking mayor said.
Duterte said he knew the identities of the drug pushers there because he has received a list prepared by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
“Believe me…I’m being candid about it. If I still see you there, I’ll kill you,” he said.
Duterte said he was not bound to wait for drug peddlers to commit more crimes and would rather nip them in the bud.
Duterte warned that those to be caught selling drugs would be fair game for the police.
“So get out now. I know where you live. I’ll finish you if you are still there,” Duterte said.
He said drug pushers could file charges against him all they want. “You try to file a case? I’ll mow down your family too,” he said.
A day after he issued the ultimatum, police operatives shot dead 38-year-old Armanuel Atienza, a member of the city’s Barangay Peace and Order Unit (BPOU), after he reportedly resisted arrest during a buy-bust operation.
Supt. Ronald Lao, the San Pedro police station chief, said seized from the slain suspect was a handgun and sachets of suspected shabu.
“We had repeatedly asked him to stop but he did not listen. So on Tuesday, we launched the operation and he got killed in the process,” Lao said.
He said another suspect, Leo Julius Monterola, 36, was arrested during the same operation.
Driz said the police would conduct a major operation anytime soon.
“This will be one time, big time,” she said.
Supt. Antonio Rivera, spokesperson of the Southern Mindanao police, said the police would try to peacefully arrest suspects but reiterated that policemen would defend themselves in dangerous situations.
“When drug pushers violently resist during operations, our policemen can fire back,” Rivera said.
“We are intensifying our campaign to finally put an end to the use and trade of illegal drugs,” Rivera added. SFM
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