Duterte claims Abu Sayyaf has Bamboo triad ‘franchise’

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Duterte claims Abu Sayyaf has Bamboo triad ‘franchise’

Robinson Ninal

President Rodrigo Duterte describes the notorious Taiwan-based Bamboo gang as a 'Chinese triad'

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte claimed the terror group Abu Sayyaf has a “franchise” from the “Chinese” Bamboo triad, referring to a notorious gang based in Taiwan. 

Without citing sources, Duterte made this claim in an interview with PTV’s Erwin Tulfo that was aired on Friday evening, September 29.

Referring to drug operations in the Philippines, Duterte said, “Meron nang humahawak. Alam mo sino? The Chinese triad, the Bamboo. Kinonsolidate na nila lahat at meron silang parang representate dito. 

(Someone is handling it. You know who? The Chinese triad, the Bamboo. They consolidated everything and they have a representative here.)

O dito may franchise. Binigyan nila ng franchise dito ang mga Abu Sayyaf. ‘O magluto kayo diyan, pagbili ninyo ano.’ Kaya karamihan diyan. Kaya karamihan diyan, ‘pagka may attack, may nakita na mga sachet. Hihirit muna ‘yan kaya matapang masyado,” Duterte said.

(There’s a franchise here. They gave a franchise to the Abu Sayyaf. “Okay, cook drugs there and sell it.” That’s why most of them, when there’s an attack, you can see sachets. They’d use drugs first, that’s why they’re too daring.)

The President also reiterated his claim that the war in Marawi City was ignited by an arrest warrant for a drug lord there. Again, he did not present evidence to back this claim. 

Duterte earlier said the Bamboo triad has “taken over the operations” of the Chinese in the illegal drug trade in the Philippines. 

Based in Taiwan, the United Bamboo triad “is one of the world’s largest organized crime groups with its hands in all kinds of illegal activities,” the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported in 2015.

Taiwan earlier denied Duterte’s claim that it is a source of drugs. – Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com