Narco-politics could emerge anew ahead of May mid-term polls — PDEA

Published February 17, 2019, 4:11 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Chito Chavez

The chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is not discounting the possibility that some rogue politicians will use drug money to campaign for the May 2019 mid-term elections.

PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino said “drug money’’ usually starts to circulate every campaign period and election year, a reality the country had faced through the years.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU)
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)

To ensure victory, Aquino noted that drug money will be deposited into the coffers of the narco-politicians to buy votes.

Aquino took into account that drug money could infiltrate the May 2019 mid-term elections after PDEA and other anti-narcotics authorities raided a house in Damariñas, Cavite and seized 36 kilos of shabu worth P245 million.

The PDEA chief noted the drugs were linked to another 274 kilos of shabu worth P1.9 billion earlier seized in Tanza, Cavite.

The safe house was traced to suspected drug personality Jun Wahting, who was arrested with Patrick Ban Kee in Talayan Village Quezon City.

Wahting is a big-time drug dealer and supplier of drugs and vehicles for the Chinese nationals who were killed in an anti-drug operation in Tanza.

PDEA has spent at least three years tracking down Wahting’s group, which could be part of the Golden Triangle drug cartel operating in countries like Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar.

The PDEA said their search for the group’s cohorts was ongoing. This group includes police officers, military men and drug enforcement personnel who may have ties with Wahting group’s illegal drug trade.

On the supposed involvement of some PDEA personnel in the illegal drug trade, PDEA spokesman Derrick Arnold Carreon said the agency, on stern orders of Aquino, has relentlessly continued with the agency’s “housecleaning’’ process.

As an evidence, Carreon said that former PDEA Deputy Director-General Ismael Fajardo and 43 others were dismissed for their supposed illegal drug links.