Drug syndicates out to get Duterte’s head – ex-governor

Based on a ‘raw but reliable intelligence report’ that reached the Duterte camp, big drug lords across the country are said to be pooling their resources to kill either Duterte himself or his presidential bid

TARGET? Drug lords are allegedly linking arms to keep Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte out of Malacañang. Rappler file photo

TARGET? Drug lords are allegedly linking arms to keep Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte out of Malacañang. Rappler file photo

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Big drug syndicates across the nation have reportedly formed a “coalition” to keep Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte out of Malacañang, a former Mindanao governor claimed.

Former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol said that the Duterte camp received a “raw but reliable intelligence report” on Friday evening, June 12, alleging that “big drug lords based in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have linked up to create a united front against a Duterte.”

Piñol said according to initial reports, drug syndicates are eyeing 3 options in their operations to derail Duterte’s possible presidential bid.

“The first option would be to eliminate Duterte before he could even decide to run for the presidency through assassination, the intelligence information said,” Piñol said.

The second option, he said, is character assassination through an all-out black propaganda.

“The third would be the use of drug money during the campaign period and the elections to ensure the defeat of Duterte,” Piñol said.

‘Highly probable’

Duterte’s advisers urged the mayor, who has been going around the country for his so-called “listening tours,” to be vigilant and to increase his security, the former governor said.

“Security analysts said that while the intelligence report still has to undergo validation, a concerted effort by the drug syndicates against a presidential prospect who could work against the drug operations in the country is highly probable,” he said.

The tough-talking mayor recently lambasted the government for allegedly failing to address the drug problem in the country, which is greatly affecting the youth.

Duterte said the youth will be a “damaged generation” if the current situation persists.

Duterte made the statement was issued after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported that 92% of Metro Manila barangays are affected by the illegal drug trade.

Since he became mayor of Davao City, Duterte has led a massive operation against the illegal drug trade which resulted to the capture of a big methamphetamine (shabu) laboratory in 2005, among others.

Duterte ranks third in the latest Pulse Asia survey of presidential preferences, tied with former president Joseph Estrada, and next only to Vice President Jejomar Binay, the frontrunner, and Senator Grace Poe.

He said he has yet to decide on whether to pursue the bid, which would depend on further consultations with his family members. Rappler.com