DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte finally bared a “matrix” of alleged drug lords, dealers and “narcopoliticians” he claims provided support to the extremists government forces have been battling to drive out of Marawi City for four months now.
Duterte showed the whole matrix, which he first gave journalists a glimpse of in Marawi on Thursday, to media in Davao City Friday night.
The single-page matrix has a column on each side, the left naming “drug lords,” who include a number of incumbent local executives, the right “drug dealers,” while the center has circles within which are the names of the “narco-politicians” and other major players, with arrows showing their supposed connections to each other.
Among the names in the center is “Parojinog Drug Trade (Ozamiz City),” an obvious reference to the network allegedly run by the late Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, who was among 15 persons killed in police raids in late July.
Other politicians whose names appear on the matrix are Mayors Noron Dadayan of Buadiposo Buntong and Hadji Jamal Abdusalam of Mulondo, and Vice Mayor Noridin Adiong of Ditsaan Ramain, all in Lanao del Sur, who are in the “drug lords” column.
Other names in the center are former Marawi mayors Fahad “Pre” Salic and Solitario Omar Ali, who were both arrested soon after the Marawi crisis erupted on May 23, as well as Solitario’s son Arafat, the incumbent vice mayor.
Duterte has repeatedly claimed that the occupation by extremists, including the Maute group of Lanao del Sur and a faction of the Abu Sayyaf led by Isnilon Hapilon, tagged as the Southeast Asian emir of the Islamic State, was well-funded, supposedly by narcotics money, and long planned.
He has also claimed that the drug and terrorism problems are inextricably linked.
He again slammed critics of his war on drugs, particularly human rights groups here and abroad, and vowed there would be no let-up in a campaign that is estimated to have claimed more than 13,000 lives since last year.
Singling out the Commission on Human Rights, Duterte invited the agency to send representatives to accompany police in their operations to see what actually happens.
He again claimed he had lost “many” police and military personnel in the war against drugs as he accused the CHR of ignoring these deaths.