MANILA – There will be no special treatment for those in the drug trade who surrender to the police, not even if they are public officials.
"What's special? Alangan naman na barilin ko agad ito, eh nag-surrender na (Why would I shoot them when they have already surrendered)," quipped Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, referring to two former mayors suspected to be involved in the drug trade standing behind him during a press conference Friday afternoon.
"Kung pusher na nakipagbarilan, babarilin talaga namin sila. Eh they (mayors) come in peace. Depende ngayon sa imbestigasyon ng CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group), malalaman natin kung ano mangyayari dito (If they were drug pushers who engaged in a firefight with us, then we’d shoot back. They come in peace. What happens to them now depends on the CIDG),” he said.
Marantao, Lanao del Sur Mayor Mohammad Ali Abu Abinang, and former Maguing, Lanao del Sur Mayor Mamaulan Abinal Molok also pledged to spearhead anti-drug campaigns in their municipalities, said Dela Rosa, and apologized for their previous involvement in drug activities outside of their areas.
"They voluntarily surrendered to me," said Dela Rosa. "They received information that they are in the watch list of the President."
After admitting their previous involvement in the drug trade, the two mayors pledged support for the administration’s anti-drug campaign.
"Inaamin namin na 2001 o 2002, kasama kami sa industriya ng droga," said Abinang.
Molok meanwhile said that if anyone in Maguing still has ties to the drug industry, he will convince them to surrender. "Ang mga taga-Maging, kung mayroon pang di nag-surrender, ipapa-surrender ko sa lahat ng makakaya ko," he said.
The two are among the first to surrender, Dela Rosa said, and they expect more to follow.
"[Magsu-surrender sila] kung magbabagong-buhay o gusto lang mabuhay ng mga suspected politicians na involved sa drugs."