Drug syndicates may be financing terrorists, insurgents–Andanar
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Wednesday bared receiving reports that drug syndicates were funding terrorist and insurgent groups, adding that operations to go after them were ongoing.
Andanar made the disclosure to reporters on the sidelines of the Senate plenary debates, as he talked about the extent of the country’s drug problem and why the President had aired the possibility of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, or legal protection from unlawful arrest.
Mr. Duterte clarified to lawmakers earlier this week that his statement was just “a passing thought” that does not necessarily have to be done.
Suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, which would grant authorities the power to undertake warrantless arrests, is allowed under Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution for not more than 60 days, “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.”
“We have to take into consideration, take note that these problems are interconnected. There are reports that some terrorists, insurgents are receiving money from drug lords,” Andanar told reporters.
“If the terrorists are financed by drug lords, then it should be a great cause for concern,” he said.
Asked if he could identify the groups, Andanar said such was the job of the military and law enforcement authorities: “I would rather not identify them.”
He said there were ongoing operations to stop the syndicates.
“There are already operations against these elements. There are those who are also manufacturing drugs and who keep on using Sulu and Sulawesi Sea. You know how different it is to go after these elements, most especially in that part of the region,” he said.
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