MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said a Colombian drug cartel is now operating in the country and is behind the floating cocaine blocks found in the country’s shorelines.
“We are facing a serious problem. Pumasok na ang cartel Medellin (ng) Colombia kaya nga marami na namang nakikitang cocaine,” the President said in a speech before barangay officials in Pasay City on Monday (February 25).
In two consecutive weeks, several blocks of cocaine valued at around P2-B pesos were found on the shores of Luzon, Eastern Visayas and Mindanao.
The President revealed that the said illegal drugs were being manufactured in old trawlers by international syndicates and attached with Global Positioning System (GPS) before being thrown into the sea where drug traffickers could recover.
He also noted that cocaine is the choice of wealthy drug users while shabu is actually the “commodity of the poor”.
“Madaling lutuin noon, madaling ibenta kasi mura, at marami ang market – ang tao,” the President said.
The President warned Filipinos working abroad to stay away from illegal drugs as there are countries who penalize drug cases with death.
Likewise, he reiterated his warning against those who do illegal drugs that his government will not be easy on them.
“Whether as a drug lord, wala akong pakialam kung galing kang China, galing kang Taiwan, galing kang Malaysia. ‘Pag pumunta kayo dito at ginawa ninyo ‘yan, papatayin ko talaga kayo. Kaya kayong mga Pilipino sa labas, ‘wag ninyong gawain ‘yan kasi papatayin din kayo doon. Do not commit the — committing crimes, your crimes in other countries. I cannot help you and I won’t help you,” he said.
“I will make this statement very, very clear. I promised you that at this time of our national life, it is the time during my time that it would be very, very dangerous for anybody to do drugs,” the President concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)