Palace names big-time drug lords in PHL

MANILA — Billions of pesos worth of drug-related transactions are being conducted inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City and this is partly due to protection given by police authorities identified by President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently.

In a briefing early Thursday evening, Solicitor General Jose Calida disclosed that there are five-tiers in the illegal drugs trade in the country and the top, the level 5, involves pushers who are able to sell 100 kilograms or more of illegal drugs per transaction.

A chart released by the Palace to the media during the briefing showed that three personalities oversee illegal drug operations in the country.

Intelligence report said the triad Luzon group is said to be headed by one Wu Tuan, alias Peter Go, who is now detained at the NBP Building 14 and is known to be the leader of Bilibid 19.

The Visayas triad is reportedly headed by a Chinese national known as Peter Lim, alias Jaguar, and who is said to be the one being protected by retired Police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo. Garbo was the former Police Regional Office (PRO) Director and Deputy Regional Director for Operations (DRDO) of the National Police (PNP) office in Region 7 and part of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1981.

Calida clarified that the “Jaguar” identified in the chart is a different personality and not the “Jaguar” who was killed in a police operation in Las Pinas and was buried in Cebu.

Another alleged big time drug lord was identified as Herbert Colangco, alias Ampang, who is now detained at the NBP. He is said to be involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities and bank robberies and is connected with the Parojinog Drug Syndicate and the Kuratong Baleleng group.

People included in the level 4 and down involves Chinese nationals and some officials of the PNP, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and local government units (LGUs), the chart showed.

These are the levels were the other four police officials whom the President identified earlier belongs, Calida said.

These officials are police generals Bernando Diaz, Joel Pagdilao, and Eduardo Tinio and retired general Vicente Loot.

Calida said that since Peter Co and Herbert Colangco are now detained in the NBP but are still very active in the illegal drugs trade there is a plan to transfer them to other facilities where communication signals are weak, citing that these personalities transact using high end mobile phones.

He said about 75 percent of drug transactions in the country are done inside the NBP, thus, the Duterte administration’s bid to address this.

Among the sites being considered for the relocation of big time illegal drug prisoners are the Building 14 of NBP in Muntinlupa, the prison facility in Tanay, Rizal; the facilities of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and the islands of Caballo in Cavite and another in Palawan.

Asked whether these personalities are the ones who reportedly raised bounty against the President and Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, Calida answered: “mostly likely yes.”

Calida said charges against these personalities will be filed by authorities and can even be done by private individuals but not President Duterte.

”The President will not dip his hands on this,” he said.

Calida, however, stressed that the President is 100 percent behind this move to eradicate illegal drugs problem in the country.

”As a matter of fact, he has already been — he has already made arrangement with the SAF (special action force) who will be the ones taking over the prison guards, et cetera, employees so that the old guards and the employees could be taken out for retraining and re-education,” he added referring to the NBP personnel. Joann Santiago/PNA/