Duterte to go after Cebu cops, PDEA men involved in drugs

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President Rodrigo Duterte. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines,  August 22) — President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to go after Cebu policemen and personnel of the regional Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) who are "drug addicts."

"'Yang Talisay (City), p****** Talisay na yan… hinay-hinay. Pulis ninyo diri sa Cebu, puro adik. Halos tanan, hasta inyong mga opisyal, hasta inyong mga PDEA," he said in a speech in Cebu City Tuesday.

[Translation: That Talisay. Your policemen in Cebu are addicts. Almost everyone, even your officials, even your PDEA men.]

Duterte said he has intelligence reports of the drug menace in Cebu, and urged local government officials to fight this menace.

He singled out Daanbantayan Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot, an official in his so-called narcolist — a claim which the Cebu town mayor has repeatedly denied.

"Ikaw, Loot, kasayang ang pagka-PMA-er mo. Gastos ng tao tapos… keep on denying. Ilang beses ka na in-ambush? Matatag ka talaga. P*** i** mong Loot ka, huwag mo akong takutin, takutin na military, military, leche ka," he added.

[Translation: Loot, your PMA background is a waste. People spend on you, and you keep on denying. How many times have you been ambushed? You're strong. ***** you Loot, don't threaten me that you're part of the military.]

In an interview on CNN Philippines, Philippine National Police Chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde confirmed the President's statement.

"And we have information also that it was during that time or before the Duterte administration, most of the Cebu cops really were engaged in extortion and illegal drugs," Albayalde told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Albayalde added that some Cebu police were reportedly engaged in a practice called "orbiting."

"They go from house to house, kung sino ang nakita nila na ito ay nagtutulak, instead of them being arrested, hinihingan na lang ng pera on a weekly basis," he said.

[Translation: They go from house to house. Whoever they see is using drugs, instead of them being arrested, they extort money from them on a weekly basis.]

However, the country's top cop said this culture prompted the replacement of the police personnel in the region, and that the situation is better now.

"Naging kultura sa kanila 'yun," he said. "Kaya napalit lahat 'yun. Kasi we changed the commanders."

[Translation: It became a culture for the cops. That's why it has been replaced, because we changed the commanders.]

PDEA Spokesman Derrick Carreon said Gen. Aaron Aquino ordered to change their agency's officials in Region VII amid the drug-related controversies.

"This is part of the preventive process and definitely, an investigation is being undertaken or conducted right now," he told CNN Philippines Tuesday.

Carreon added they are also conducting lifestyle checks on PDEA personnel.

Loot, a retired police general, was previously named by President Rodrigo Duterte as a drug protector. He was also among those implicated by self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa during his testimony at the Senate.

The Cebu town mayor survived an ambush by gunmen at the Maya Port on May 13.