MANILA - Beijing will help the Philippines capture suspected Chinese drug traffickers, China's ambassador to Manila said Wednesday.
Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said his government has asked Manila to provide information on suspected Chinese drug traffickers, according to an Associated Press report.
Zhao said the two countries' police agencies share intelligence information and undergo joint training in the fight against illegal drugs.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier deplored the alleged involvement of some Chinese citizens in the narcotics trade in the Philippines.
Duterte said some drug suspects killed in local police operations are Chinese nationals.
"Itong mga namatay dito na unclaimed, sino ang mag-claim niyan e most of them really are Chinese. That's my lamentation," he said.
He added that some Chinese citizens lead drug rings in the country even though they are already behind bars.
In an apparent response to Duterte's statement, the Chinese embassy in Manila said the Philippine government can expect cooperation from Beijing in terms of stamping out illegal drugs.
''The Chinese government has been firm and severe in drug control and in punishing all drug criminals in accordance with laws regardless their nationalities. The Chinese government has been promoting and has carried out effective international cooperation with many countries,'' said embassy spokesperson Lingxiao Li.
Duterte on Wednesday revealed that China has also offered to build drug rehabilitation centers in the Philippines.
Yasay: DFA summoned Chinese envoy
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday that he had summoned the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines to ask about the involvement of Chinese in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
He said the Chinese ambassador told him that Beijing is addressing the situation.
"And report of the President that is based upon investigation and findings that is well-based and so I have asked him about his clarifications explaining this matter and he had indicated even at that time that he was going to, or China was going to come up with a joint operation with our law enforcement agents on this regard but nevertheless, acting on your letter, I have directed the formalization of your request and we are sending a note verbale to precisely pursue this on a more aggressive note," said Yasay.
Yasay issued the statement after Senator Richard Gordon asked about Chinese involvement in the illegal drugs trade in the Philippines. - with a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News