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Duterte admits wiretapping narcopoliticians

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that he ordered the wiretapping of drug personalities, including narcopoliticians.

In the middle of a rant about Iloilo Mayor Jed Mabilog and the late Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Duterte said he listened in on certain conversations. 

“I was listening to him. Don’t ask me what kind of listening device. It was a whisper from god I was listening to. So they were all tapped,” Duterte told the media in Marawi City on Thursday, September 21. 

“I was the one who ordered it. I cannot name the people there – the police or,” Duterte added without finishing his sentence.

According to the Anti-Wiretapping Law (Republic Act No 4200), wiretapping is only legal if authorities are able to obtain a court order.

Asked if Duterte waited for a court order before instructing law enforcers to wiretap suspects, Presidential Abella said on Friday, "I’m sure that, being a lawyer, he was operating within bounds of legality."

Duterte is standing by his allegations against Mabilog, who he called the "number one" drug protector.

“I was not saying Mayor Mabilog was making shabu. I said he was protector number one. Remember my statement the early days when I was president. I called the attention of Iloilo people. Your city or your province is the most shabulized, if that is a word,” Duterte said.

The President alleged that Mabilog is still out of the country because “he is afraid to suffer the same fate with Parojinog.”

The Iloilo Mayor previously left the Philippines for Japan to attend a conference. 

Mabilog has denied protecting drug syndicates but that hasn’t stopped Duterte from making other claims about him, such as describing his home as a “palace.” The President made this claim after supposedly ordering a lifestyle check on Mabilog.

Parojinog was killed in July during a police raid in his city. His family is notorious for its close ties to criminal syndicates and drug lords.

Both Mabilog and Parojinog are in Duterte's list of suspected drug personalities. – 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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