Duterte threatens 3 Chinese drug lords, claims Garbo is ‘coddler’

MANILA, Philippines – For President Rodrigo Duterte, at least 3 top Chinese drug lords are as good as dead if they escape from prison. He also claimed retired Police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr is a protector of some of these drug lords.

In a speech aired on national television on Thursday, July 7, he warned alleged drug lords Peter Lim alias “Jaguar,” Peter Co alias “Wu Tuan,” and Herbert Colangco alias “Ampang” that they would die if they step out of jail.

Co and Colangco are supposedly inside the national penitentiary but continue to run drug trafficking operations while Lim is “at large,” said Duterte.  

“I’m just watching Peter Lim and Peter Co: do not escape from prison, you will die. Colangco, never try to go out of prison, you will die,” he said.

Lim or “Jaguar” is still able to fly to China and back to the Philippines, according to police intelligence given to Duterte, prompting him to give warning: “Better tell him, ‘do not come back to the Philippines anymore.’ The moment he steps out of the plane, he will die.”

The Philippine president also described the drug lords as “beyond redemption” thus, “They can stop and commit suicide because I will not allow these idiots to run their show, not during my watch.” 

Garbo a 'protector'

Based on intelligence, Co or “Wu Tuan” is supposedly the leader of the Triad drug syndicate operating in Luzon and the National Capital Region. He continues to be the mastermind of drug trafficking in the region despite being a New Bilibid Prison inmate. Co is also supposedly the leader of the “Bilibid 19” gang. 

Lim or “Jaguar” is allegedly the Triad member behind Visayas operations and is said to be out of the country. 

Colangco, detained at the New Bilibid Prison, aside from being a drug lord, is a member of the Kuratong Baleleng crime syndicate responsible for bank robberies and kidnap-for-ransom.

The organizational chart Duterte showed links Garbo to Co and Lim and describes him as their “associate/protector.” 

Garbo is among the 5 top cops Duterte publicly named as supposed protectors of drug syndicates. Garbo denied the accusation, claiming the president was fed “wrong, poison” information.

While Duterte heaped insults and warnings against the drug lords, he was more careful when discussing Garbo’s involvement.

“Regarding Garbo, I think the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) could take care of him,” he said.

He made no mention of the 4 other police generals he had named. (READ: Duterte fed wrong info on shamed cops? Malabo 'yan – Panelo)

'Many mayors' involved

But Duterte said the names he released are only the tip of the iceberg.

Intelligence he has obtained from various sources identify cops, mayors, Chinese nationals, and members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology as part of the matrix of personalities driving drug operations in the country. (READ: Incoming DILG chief readies list of local officials in drug trade)

He plans to present more names after reviewing additional documents.

Malawak ito – mga mayors, karamihan; pulis; Chinese. (Many are involved – mayors, mostly; police, Chinese.) You have [the presentation] maybe by next week,” he said.

Duterte declined naming the others involved until more evidence reaches him. For now, he would consider them “persons of interest.”

The announcement of the names of drug lords is part of Duterte’s campaign against the illegal drug trade. He is trying to beat a self-imposed deadline of suppressing crime, drugs, and corruption in 3 to 6 months – his most famous pledge to voters in the 2016 elections. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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