UNABLE to find hitmen who could kill President Duterte and him, drug lords are now trying to forge an “unholy alliance” with rogue Muslim rebels and the jihadist group ISIS to have them assassinated, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa said yesterday.
In a televised press conference from Davao City, the PNP chief said top drug kingpins in the country have been monitored teaming up with supporters of ISIS and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters to kill him and the President amid their aggressive campaign against drug trafficking and abuse which so far have already led to the killing of more than 400 armed drug traffickers in gunbattles with the police and the surrender of over 500,000 confessed drug dealers and users since last July 1.
“May mga drug lord na nagbabayad, umaabot na sa personalities sa ISIS at BIFF. Lumalapit na sila dahil nahihirapan na sila maghanap ng tirador. To the extent na roadside bomb, car bomb na ang gagamitin,” Gen. de la Rosa said.
“Sa totoo lang they are now moving heaven and earth,” he said. The threats have prompted much tighter security for the President and de la Rosa who has been getting death threats since he assumed the top PNP position more than a month ago. Prior to his designation as PNP chief, de la Rosa said drug lords have raised as much as P50 million to kill him and the former Davao City mayor.
“Sanay naman tayo. Tatanggapin ko. I am ready to die anytime. Di ako takot mamatay. Di tayo natatakot diyan. Bahala sila. Bahala na si Lord kung gusto niya mamatay na si Presidente, kung gusto niya mamatay na ako. He can take my life anytime. Wag kayong mag-alala hindi ako takot,” he said.
The sharpshooting PNP chief reiterated the PNP’s goal of crushing drug trafficking and abuse particularly the so-called big fish during the first six months of the Duterte administration.
“Sa isang region kailangan within six months maubos na yun lahat, mapa-surrender mo, ma-neutralize mo, basta maubos lahat. Yung number of drug personalities sa kanilang lugar, dapat ma-neutralize. Either maaresto, surrender o mapatay sa drug operations. Dapat ma neutralize,” he said.
He said that there are still many big-time drug lords on the loose and being targeted for neutralization by the police. “Marami. Mga armado pa sila. Pero tingnan natin hanggang saan ang kaya nila at hanggang saan ang kaya natin,” he said.
JOIN CAMPAIGN VS EVIL
Saying it’s now or never, the PNP chief called on the citizenry anew as well as local government officials to help them fight drugs unless “we want narco-terrorism to prevail in our motherland.”
At the heart of the campaign are members of the 160,000-strong police force, some of them already slain while fighting drug offenders since last month.
“Never in the previous years have we waged such relentless war against crime and illegal drugs. And never in the Philippines’ recent history have we awakened such favor among our men and women to risk life and limb to save our youth and the rest of our countrymen from the illegal drug menace,” Gen. de la Rosa said.
The top cop said that the benefits of the aggressive anti-drug campaign are now beginning to show, with the country experiencing a much reduced crime rate nationwide, the surrender of over half-a-million confessed drug dealers and users and a steady improvement of the PNP’s image as a result of its no-nonsense campaign against rogues in uniform.