Trillanes: Not the first time 'Davao mafia' dipped hands in corruption

Published September 4, 2021, 10:19 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said that the so-called “Davao mafia” has been involved in government corruption long before the issue of mishandled coronavirus disease (COVID-19) funds came to light.

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)

Trillanes made the statement amid the ongoing Senate probe on the government’s purchase of alleged overpriced COVID-19 supplies last year.

In a Facebook post, Trillanes said it was not the first time that the Davao mafia was linked to corruption.

Davao mafia is a term used by administration critics to refer to a supposed group of people from Davao City who have alleged links to President Duterte.

“The Davao mafia has been in power since 2016. Hindi sila ngayon lang nangungarakot (This is not the first time they have engaged in corruption activities),” he said.

Trillanes, one of President Duterte’s staunchest critics, went on to enumerate a number of issues where supposed members of the group were involved.

His list is as follows:

  • The supposed smuggling of drugs in the Bureau of Customs (BOC)
  • The Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) issue in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor)
  • The “pastillas” scheme at the Bureau of Immigration (BI)
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization

President Duterte has been firm that he will not tolerate corruption in his administration.

Earlier this week, the President assured the public that the Executive Branch will answer allegations about the government’s pandemic response.