Chinese envoy claims no info on drug triads in PH

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China's ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua (R) welcomes China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) as he arrived for the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in this August 2017 file photo. (Photo by KJ Rosales/Philstar)

MANILA – Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua has given assurances that China will not protect nationals who are involved in illegal activities in the Philippines, including drug trafficking.

The statement came as the Chinese official said his country has no information about Chinese syndicates or drug rings operating here.

He gave the reaction after President Rodrigo Duterte bared the presence of 14k Triad and the Bamboo Triad, a Taiwan-based organized crime group that has been supplying illegal drugs to the Philippines.

“Actually, we do not know much about the syndicates or drug rings operating in the Philippines but if we have any, we are ready to share with the Filipino side,” he told reporters Tuesday night on the sidelines of the reception celebrating the 68th founding anniversary of The People’s Republic of China.

“Well, if you have any intelligence or information with regards to illegal activities of the drug traffickers, we certainly share with the Filipino side like what we did in the very beginning. We continue to do so,” he said.

Nevertheless, Ambassador Zhao said China will not protect its nationals who have committed crimes in the country.

“They need to be punished in accordance to the Filipino law. I think likewise, if any Filipino committed crimes in China, including illegal drug trafficking, they will also be punished in accordance with law,” he said.

He further assured that the Chinese government will continue to support President Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs and drug-related criminal acts.

“We have already begun the inter-agency cooperation: sharing intelligence, providing equipment, and we hope that this kind of cooperation and coordination will be enhanced,” the ambassador added.

China earlier provided the Philippines with two batches of equipment worth P436 million, among which were drug detecting and testing equipment.

“The law enforcement agencies from China joined hands with their Philippine counterparts in preventing drug trafficking and secured significant achievements. Two drug rehabilitation facilities in Mindanao are expected to be launched this November,” Ambassador Zhao said in his speech.

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