Drug lords may fund efforts to oust Duterte

A pro-Duterte senator announced on Friday that drug lords may be bankrolling efforts to destabilize President Rodrigo Duterte administration without the knowledge of civil society groups campaigning against the government's war on drugs, according to The Manila Times Online on Saturday.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said it was natural for big-time drug traffickers to look for means to stop the anti-drugs campaign that has cost them huge losses.

What I am saying is this. If I am a drug lord making P1 billion a year and here comes the government going after my men, I have to do something because if I don't, I may not only lose my income but I may also get arrested and jailed, Cayetano told a press conference in Quezon City.

He said it would be too obvious for drug lords to confront the police or the president directly, so what they did was to look for an issue that could exploit and hope it would lead to Duterte's ouster.

But the senator made it clear that he was not saying that the anti-Duterte rallies were funded by drug lords. He also said that he was not implying that human rights advocates, church organizations and other groups should not speak out on abuses committed by the officials.

Cayetano was among those who appealed to Duterte and the Philippine National Police to re-launch the anti-drugs campaign which was stopped in January after a Korean businessman was killed by anti-drugs operatives last October.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)