Tag Archives: narco-politics

DUTERTE: De Lima deserves to be in jail

DESERVED TO BE IN JAIL. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his talk to the nation in Malacañang on Monday night (April 12, 2021). He said Senator Leila de Lima deserved to be in jail since she insulted the country by allowing illegal drugs to proliferate when she was still justice secretary. (Presidential photo by King Rodriguez

PH would have been narco-politics state

 April 13, 2021

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said the Philippines would have turned into a narco-politics state had he not launched his administration’s aggressive crackdown on illegal drugs.Duterte made this declaration after lambasting detained Senator Leila de Lima for her… Read More

DUTERTE URGED TO LOOK INTO ‘NARCO-POLITICS’ ISSUE VS. ALVAREZ

pimentel duterte

Despite the defense of Senate President Koko Pimentel, regional leaders of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) are standing pat on their accusation that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is ‘guilty of acts inimical to the party.’

Pimentel, PDP-Laban president,  has defended Alvarez following claim by two regional leaders of the party that they have passed a resolution declaring the Speaker, the PDP secretary general as ‘persona non grata’ to the party.

The PDP-Laban has issued a resolution declaring Speaker Alvarez as ‘persona non grata’ for acts inimical to the party, earlier said Rogelio Garcia, former labor undersecretary and party chairman for Region 12, and Cesar Cuntapay, interim president of Southern Mindanao regional council.

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The statements of Garcia and Cuntapay were quoted in media reports following reported complaints of PDP-Laban leaders that Alvarez is conducting an unauthorized  nationwide reorganization of the PDP-Laban and recruitment of new members.

According to their complaints, the Alvarez recruitment paved the way for narco-politicians to infiltrate the PDP-Laban.

Pimentel described as “fake news” the claim of Garcia and Cuntapay that Alvarez has been declared as ‘persona non grata’ by the PDP-Laban.

Pimentel also threatened expulsion from the party of members disseminating “fake news” to undermine the leadership and unity of the PDP-Laban.

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With Pimentel defending Alvarez, the regional party leaders will raise the issue to a higher level, given the seriousness of the accusation against the Speaker.

“We will bring up the case to the supreme court,” said in jest a party leader in Davao del Norte who is privy to the issue but begged that he not be named. By “supreme court” he was referring to President Rodrigo Duterte, titular head of the ruling PDP-Laban.

Alvarez represents the first congressional district of Davao de Norte where he is not wanting in critics and foes for initiating a congressional probe into the Joint Venture Agreeement (JVA) between the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (TADECO) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

The JVA, covering more than 5,000 hectares of Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) reservation area developed into a banana plantation by Tadeco, according to Alvarez, was “illegal and disadvantageous” to the government.

Acknowledging the contribution of Tadeco and the Tadeco-BuCor land deal to the economy, the Davao del Norte provincial government and its municipalities have passed resolutions supporting the JVA.

Alvarez has also been criticized for the graft rap he filed at the Ombudsman against 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo, Jr.

Floiredo, whose family owns Tadeco, is  a political ally and friend of Alvarez, and one of the biggest contributors to the campaign of President Duterte in the 2016 election.

SERIOUS ACCUSATION

In defending Alvarez, Pimentel cited the Speaker’s contribution to the party.

Alvarez, he said, “expanded the base of PDP. He cannot be said to have done or be doing acts inimical to the Party. Speaker Alvarez has in fact strengthened the Party with quality members,” said Pimentel.

But according to the PDP-Laban regional leaders, the massive recruitment of new party members by Alvarez has opened the floodgates for entry of narco-politicians into the party.

 Alvarez is touring the country in a massive recruitment binge.

The accusation against Alvarez is serious, and insulting to President Duterte, in that the administration has an ongoing campaign against illegal drugs.

President Duterte has vowed to eradicate the  illegal drugs trade that involves police, military and government officials.

Raising fear that the entry of narco-politicians into the administration party could undermine the President’s war on drugs, the PDP-Laban regional leaders said they are forced to raise the issue to President Duterte.

Benito Ranque, PDP-Laban deputy secretary general, said the party is monitoring reports that a number of narco-politicians were able to join the PDP-Laban through Alvarez’s recruitment.

The PDP-Laban will not be a “sanctuary” for narco-politicians, said Ranque, who vowed to continue to oppose Alvarez’s ongoing recruitment.

Some politicians want to become PDP-Laban members thinking they can get away from their misdeeds. But the party will not become their sanctuary, he said.

 Cesar Cuntapay, PDP-Laban coordinating council chairman in Mindanao, also opposed the ongoing party reorganization conducted by Alvarez.

Cuntapay said Alvarez is creating instability in the party through his unauthorized recruitment of members and replacing old party members with new recruits.

According to Cuntapay, the reorganization that includes massive recruitment, was not consulted with the national leadership and  violated PDP-Laban protocols.

Cuntapay said Alvarez swore in the new members without them going through a basic membership seminar, which is mandated by the PDP-Laban constitution and bylaws.

Narco-politics feared in Iloilo

Ilongos want Rody to fight drug lords

Taxi drivers, civic leaders and even local politicians in Iloilo province believe that a strong leader like Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte is what the country needs to address the growing drugs problem.

Local officials expressed fear narco-politics may be taking a foothold on the city, with known drug lords often seen in the company of some politicians.

Duterte was in Iloilo recently as part of his ‘Listening Tour’ promoting a shift to a federal form of government.

But the drug problem in the city also came into focus in talks with local leaders and plain citizens who hoped rampant drug use and drug dealing could be licked if Duterte, a strong anti-drug advocated could become the President.

In the Federal Forum and discussions with politicians and business leaders, the Ilongos showed they have joined the bandwagon pushing Duterte to run for President in 2016.

The ilongos’ call for Duterte to run parallels similar sentiments expressed by people in many areas visited by the Federal Listening Tour.

Drugs has been identified as the most serious problem in Iloilo City with at least two suspected big-time drug dealers known to almost every Ilonggo.

“Almost every city resident knows who these drug dealers are. It seems the only ones who do not know them are the anti-drugs officials,” said radio broadcaster Joeceel Bañas of Aksyon Radyo, a media outlet which has been in the forefront of the campaign against drugs in the city.

Local officials who refused to be identified said the suspected drug dealers have lately been seen in the company of known political personalities fanning the fear that narco-politics is taking a foothold in the area.

During his one day visit to Iloilo which included a forum on Federalism in Janiuay, Iloilo and in the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City, Mayor Duterte was confronted with questions on how he handled the drugs problem in his city, now considered as one of the Safest Cities in the World with a crime rate lower than all the other major cities in the country.

“I don’t like people involved in drugs. I don’t care if they are soldiers or policemen. I tell them that drug dealers and criminals in my city have only two destinations – the jail or the funeral parlors,” said Duterte, whose tough campaign against drugs and criminality has made him a “person of interest” by human rights groups.

In 2009, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) then headed by now Justice Secretary Leila de Lima investigated Duterte on his alleged links to the Davao Death Squad (DDS), which was blamed as behind the summary execution of nearly a thousand suspected criminals, mostly involved in drugs.

Human rights groups claimed the deat squad was backed by police and Duterte.

In his Iloilo visit, Duterte, addressing students in the WVSU Federalism Forum, said six months of drugs use, especially “shabu,” will cause irreparable brain damage.

“There is no such thing as a successful rehabilitation for a drug addict. Once you lose a child to drugs, you lose him forever,’ Duterte warned both students and their parents.

“What we need is a leader like Duterte,” said an Iloilo town mayor who asked not to be identified.

There are several town mayors in Iloilo, however, who have taken a strong position against drugs, among them Alimodian Mayor Geefre Alonsabe.

Alonsabe, who has publicly admitted that he is gay, is largely admired by anti-drugs advocates in the province for his bold and open campaign against drugs.

The 69-year-old Duterte, Mayor of Davao for 22 years, is visiting key areas all over the country in an advocacy for Federalism.

His visits, however, also turn into an experience sharing session for many people and local leaders who have heard of the legendary accomplishments of Duterte in the campaign against drugs and criminality.