After President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa both claimed that the Maute group is linked the drug problem in the country, a netizen said that such a claim is bound to be fake news and offered relevant facts to the issue.
Facebook user Bernard Ong was referring to how Dela Rosa supported Duterte’s earlier claim about the link between the local terrorists Maute group and some drug lords and how he received information before July 1, 2016 that there was going to be a “drug summit” in Marawi City.
“Even before July 1, when I assumed my post and announced that drug lords should surrender, we received information that majority of drug lords here in Metro Manila, Luzon and Visayas went to Marawi to hold a ‘drug summit.’ And they were protected by the Maute group and narco-politicians,” Dela Rosa said, during the press briefing at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on May 29.
In his martial law declaration submitted to Congress, Duterte cited “illegal drug money” as the source of the financial and logistical support for the Maute members. Dela Rosa added that there was “mutual” support and protection between the Maute group and politicians involved with drugs, cases that will be among those investigated during the martial law in Mindanao.
However, Dela denied Duterte’s claim about how the Maute brothers used to serve as policemen in Manila involved with drugs.
“They’re not police… they just act like they are (pulis-pulisan) to protect drug lords. That may be why the President said that,” Dela Rosa said.
Duterte said this on May 26, “They (Maute) were policemen in Manila who got enamored with the money of shabu. Umuwi dito and established one of the biggest factories of shabu in Lanao del Sur.”
However, Ong slammed Dela Rosa for saying that the drug lords chose to hold their “summit” in Marawi City.
In his Facebook post, “World’s Most Stupid Drug Lords,” he enumerated just why Marawi City is not the typical venue for the drug summit.
“1. Marawi has no airport (nearest one is CDO more than 2 hours away)
2. Marawi does not have first-class hotels fitting the standards of VIP drug lords
3. Maute was then based in Butig area about 40km from Marawi
4. Maute was running for its life at this time (see below)
5. The country’s top drug lords were in hiding or in Bilibid (see below)
6. A drug summit is more feasible over pusoy-dos in Bilibid than in Marawi”
He then offered several relevant facts, including the relative obscurity of the Maute group before 2016, how they ran after the Army attacked them in February 2016, how several top drug lords remained in the Bilibid Prison than outside, and more.
” 1. Maute group was relatively unknown before 2016 except among Islamic radical & intelligence circles. Doubtful if they would be the preferred security agency of drug lords at that time.
2. In Feb 20, 2016: Maute attacked Army outpost in Bayabao, Lanao Del Sur, killing 2 soldiers. Bayabao is situated near the Maute base of Butig
3. By Mar 1, 2016: After 10 days of fighting, AFP overran 3 camps of Maute in Butig, Lanao Del Sur, killing 42 Maute. At this point, the Maute group ran & went into hiding.
4. In Apr 5, 2016: Maute gunmen abducted 6 sawmill workers in Butig, Lanao Del Sur
5. Meanwhile, top suspected drug lords (like Peter Lim, Peter Co, Herbert Colangco) were not in Marawi before July 2016. Lim was mostly abroad if not socializing with Duterte in Cebu. Co and Colangco were in Bilibid along with other drug lords.
6. Both PNP Chief Bato and DOJ Sec Aguirre said in Jun 2016 that Bilibid controlled 75% of all drug trade in the country.
Given all these facts, Ong then raised the following questions:
“1. Why did Duterte not hunt Maute down in July 2016 in Butig (where they built concrete structures in base camps) before they could cause damage again in Nov 2016 Butig siege or May 2017 Marawi siege.
2. Why did Duterte call Maute ‘nationalists & freedom fighters’ in Nov 2016 rather than drug coddlers?
3. Why did the Bilibid drug lords who control 75% of drug trade not disclose the all-important national summit when they testified vs De Lima?”
And he answered these questions himself.
“1. Maute is not linked to the country’s top drug lords
2. Except one – the fentanyl –fueled lord who wants to link drugs & terrorists in order to justify nationwide Martial Law and install himself as dictator-for-life”
Before concluding his post, Ong slammed Dela Rosa for falling for fake news.
“We don’t have the most stupid drug lords in the world. We only have the most stupid police chief in the world – falling for fake news, and making up one himself,” he said.
“His Maute-Drug Lords story is meant for the Mauto Group – who will swallow any norm with the ‘drug’ label fed their way,” Ong added.
As of writing, the post has been shared over 1,000 times.