President Duterte believes a Colombian drug cartel is at work in the Philippines after bricks of cocaine were found in the nation’s waters.
Speaking in Pasay City today (Tuesday, February 26) he said: “We are facing a serious problem. A drug cartel from Medellin, Colombia has entered. That’s why we can expect a lot of cocaine.
“We are in danger because on the right side is Mexico and Medellin and Colombia cocaine is entering.”
The president, however, admitted that it would be difficult for the Philippines to prevent the entry of illegal drugs because of its long shoreline and limited resources.
“It’s difficult in the Philippines because we have one of the longest shorelines. Because it’s island to island,” he said.
“I cannot afford that we have one patrol here, for island for island. It’s that difficult. So I have to do something about it. I’m just warning.”
Earlier, the president also claimed that Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel and Asia’s Bamboo triad were also operating in the country.
He also suggested that the bricks of cocaine found recently were thrown into sea and eventually retrieved by smugglers using global positioning system.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino has backed the president’s statement.
At least 164 kilos of cocaine worth at least 871.65 million pesos have been recovered from the nation’s seas since February 10.
Aquino said that the bricks of cocaine ended up in Philippine waters due to the possibility that the country is being used as transshipment points by a Colombian drug cartel.
He also suggested that drug syndicates may also have been using the hugely valuable bricks of cocaine as a “diversionary tactic”.
Aquino said only about three per cent of Filipino drug users snorted cocaine while shabu, marijuana and ecstasy remained the top three prohibited drugs in the country.