WATCH | PH is a ‘client state’ of triads – Duterte

September 27, 2017 - 9:02 AM
President Rodrigo Duterte shows a list of government officials allegedly involved in the drug trade at the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association. (Presidential photo)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that the Philippines not only becamea narco-state long ago,” it has become a “client state” of the “triads,” transnational crime organizations with Chinese roots that operate worldwide.

Speaking at the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association on Tuesday, September 26, Duterte singled out the Taiwan-based “Bamboo” triad, apparently referring to the United Bamboo Gang, who he claimed “have taken over the operations” of mainland Chinese gangs.

Earlier in the day, at the 120th anniversary of the Department of Justice, he also mentioned the Hong Kong-based 14K and said this was why “I cannot blame the … the Chinese government or the people” for the drug entering the country.

Duterte’s opinion runs counter to that of his ally, Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee investigating the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of crystal meth, or “shabu,” through the Bureau of Customs, who has suggested that the country’s relations with China be reconsidered if the giant state cannot stem the flow of narcotics to the Philippines.

On Tuesday, both China and Taiwan denied being the source of drugs and insisted that their cooperation with the Philippines has led to substantial successes in stemming the flow of narcotics.

China says 604-kilo ‘shabu’ seizure proves it isn’t to blame for drug smuggling

At the Philconsa event, Duterte admitted “we are in trouble” because “we are flooded with drugs,” reiterating his claim that up to “40 percent” of the country’s more than 42,000 barangays, with village chairmen themselves running illegal operations, thus classifying the country as a “narco-state.”

However, noting that the country is also a transshipment point of “shabu”to the United States, “it behooves upon America to work closely with the Republic of the Philippines, especially on this serious matter.”