DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 11 has submitted a recommendation urging President Rodrigo Duterte to include in the implementation of the Martial Law in Mindanao the campaign against illegal drugs.
In a press conference on Wednesday, PDEA 11 Counsel Ben Joseph Tesiorna revealed that they have reason to suspect that several personalities connected with the illegal drug trade in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao are trying to enter Region 11.
“We have submitted several names to our director general identifying those persons who are located in region 11 that we suspect to be members of drug groups. They were able to show their capability to support terroristic acts,” he said.
Tesiorna revealed information showing that aside from funding coming from the international group ISIS, the Mautes were also being supported by local narcopoliticians.
Tesiorna pointed out that the Maute brothers, Omar and Abdullah who were former cops, already had established links with the narcopoliticans, having once been involved in the illegal drug trade.
“In fact, we think this was the reason that they were dismissed from the service,” he said.
Tesiorna declined to reveal the names and number of politicians, saying that the investigation is still going on. However, he said that they have monitored several of these personalities maintaining residences in Davao City.
Should the recommendation gain the president’s approval, Tesiorna hopes that it would hasten the process of “taking actions” against said personalities.
The problem lies in trying to produce material evidence in order to establish probable cause, that is one of the requirements to procure a search warrant, Tesiorna said.
“They are not dumb. They are not stupid. They won’t actually be handling drugs here but we know that they are connected,” Tesiorna said.
“If the illegal rugs are included in the martial law, then maybe we can bypass or somehow relax the requirements for us to take actions against them,” he added. (davaotoday.com)davao city, duterte, Martial Law, PDEA, philippines, War on Drugs