Duterte barks at a drug lord far away

Pres. Duterte receives Peter Lim, suspected drug lord, in his home in Davao. Screengrab from RTVM video.

Pres. Duterte was into his “I will kill you” element again during the PDP-Laban campaign rally at Negros Occidental last Friday. He was talking, as usual, about his campaign against illegal drugs.

He said every day, there’s news about shabu. “P***** i** talagang papatayin ko kayo because drugs will destroy my country. Nagkalat — hindi na halos ma-control eh.

Apparently, he has not thought of assessing the efficacy of his “kill, kill” strategy as he himself admits the proliferation of illegal drugs remains unabated.

He again warned the drug lords, “Kaya kung ikaw ang — ikaw ang drug lord, ikaw ang nag-distribute, p***** i** mo papatayin talaga kita. Masiguro mo ‘yun. mo sa newspaper. Mga pulis, mga precinct commander, kung ano-ano na lang, mga PDEA, director. Hindi kita papalusutin maski general ka. Hanapan kita ng paraan. Papatayin talaga kita. Do not destroy my country. “

He directed his strongest warning at Peter Lim, allegedly a drug lord in Visayas:Pero kung gusto mo pang mabuhay…. Ang masakit diyan, sila mismo maganda ang buhay. Itong Peter Lim na ito, may — may bahay sa Canada, may bahay sa Bahamas, ang p***** i** niya, may bahay sa Hong Kong. Peter Lim ‘pag nakita kita maski saan, papatayin kita. And I will go to jail for…”

Strong words because Lim is, as he said, either in Canada or Bahamas. He said almost the same at the start of his presidency. On July 15, 2016, hewas face-to-face with Lim in his house in Davao.

He toldhim: “I tell you what, I have warned to have you killed. It’s true, I will have you killed. If I see something I will have you killed.”

But the strong words melted into: “I will advise you strongly to submit to an investigation, in my term. For now you are not guilty, but if I find out that you are, I will have you finished. You better go to the investigating agency, the NBI.”

It’s all bark. We have yet to see the bite.

Pres. Duterte and Peter Lim as wedding sponsors.

If Duterte is really serious about going after suspected drug lords, he need not go to Canada or the Bahamas. Let’s not forget that the P6.4 billion worth of shabu that got past the Bureau of Customs in May 2017 was with the help of the “Davao group” as exposed by customs broker Mark Taguba.

I met then newly-appointed Customs Chief Isidro Lapeña in a reception and he said, “Everything that Taguba said is true.” (Note: Much later, Lapeña got embroiled in another shabu shipment – P11 billion worth-that got past his watch. He was transferred to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.)

Here are some of revelations by Taguba as shown in the text messages with a certain Tita Nanie, a customs “operator,” during the Senate hearing:

Nanie: “Good am, Mark, we’ll make final arrangement with Jack. He is the handler of Paolo. Now, we have to advance the enroll—he can fly down to Davao to arrange your meeting with Polong ASAP. During the meeting, you personally turn over the five million, same manner you likewise you turn over the 1MLN to Jack when we meet.”

There was no “Polong”, nickname of then vice mayor Paolo Duterte, the President’s son, when Taguba and Jack arrived in Davao. The one who met them was Davao City Councilor Small Abellera Jr , known to be a close friend of Paolo.

Taguba said he gave the P5 million in cash to Abellera at the restaurant parking lot. Abellera admitted that he met with “Jack” and Taguba but he denied receiving the P5 million.

A March 17, 2017text message of Taguba to “Tita Nanie” mentioned the name of “Mance” which referred to lawyer Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the head of Hugpong ng Pagbabagowhich is fielding a pro-administration senatorial slate for the May 2019 elections.

Taguba’s text said: ”Tita there’s no need to panic. I haven’t filed it yet. All I need from Tito Jack is for either P or Mance to call collector Jet Maronilla that we have go signal for our SPL.”

Duterte dared those who allege that his son is involved in illegal drugs to produce an affidavit and he will resign.

Of the many personalities involved in the P6.4 billion shabu slip, including Customs officials, only Taguba and threeothers- Kenneth Dong, Anoche Dee, the warehouseman, and Eirene Mae Tatad, the alleged consignee of the shipment, are in detention awaiting trial.