Duterte: Drug pushers shift to kidnapping

Arianne F. Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2016 08:27 PM | Updated as of Nov 05 2016 12:49 AM

These are 'kidnap-extortion' incidents, says anti-crime civic leader Tessie Ang See

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte said there are indications drug pushers have shifted to kidnapping due to the low supply of illegal drugs in the country.

Speaking before an Integrated Bar of the Philippines regional convention on Friday, Duterte said there have been 6 kidnappings in Binondo, Manila alone in the past three weeks.

"There is very low supply of drugs now but nagshift naman na sa kidnapping ang mga g*go," he said.

(There is very low supply of drugs now but those stupid people have shifted to kidnapping.) 

The president, who said there are 3 million drug users in the country who spend over P200 billion for illegal drugs, warned illegal drug users to stay in their homes and talk to God if they want to avoid an "accident."

"Kayong lahat na suspek, oh alam namin na andyan kayo sa mga kanto-kanto, umalis kayo. Pumunta kayo sa bahay ninyo, isara niyo ang pinto ninyo. Umupo ka sa kama o lumuhod ka at kausapin mo ang Diyos kasi ang mga bata-bata ng Diyos andiyan sa labas, madidisgrasya ka talaga," he said.

(To all of the suspects, we know that you are there on the streets, leave. Go home and close your doors. Sit on your bed or kneel and talk to God because the children of God are outside, you will really face disasters.)

He added that the country spends over P1 trillion for the rehabilitation and medical needs of drug dependents in the country.

KIDNAP-EXTORTION 

Meantime, an anti-crime group leader said the rise in Binondo kidnapping incidents mentioned by Duterte were incidents of "kidnap-extortion." 

Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) founder Teresita Ang See confirmed that there have been several kidnapping incidents in Binondo since August, which are "kidnap-extortion" incidents.

According to See, kidnap-extortion incidents are usually very short periods of kidnapping followed by extortion. 

When victims refuse, they are usually threatened with drug-related charges. 

She added that victims are usually Chinese nationals who do not want to report to authorities.

"Lahat ito Chinese nationals, ayaw nila magreport kaya nag eescalate yung mga [bilang ng mga] kaso na yan," See said in an interview on DZMM.

(All of these are Chinese nationals. They do not want to report which is why the number of these cases keeps on escalating.)

See said her group has recorded 9 kidnapping cases, including kidnap-extortion incidents, since August.

Only one victim, however, cooperated with her group.

"Only one true case cooperated to give info. Others flatly refused making authorities suspect they may be involved in illegal activities, hence the fear to come out," See said.

See revealed that most of these kidnap-extortion incidents are perpetuated by Manila police officers.

A witness who spoke to ABS-CBN News on condition of anonymity revealed that one group of suspected kidnappers identified themselves as NBI agents.

“Ang sabi daw, taga-NBI. Sabi mga NBI daw sila,” the witness said.

(According to them, they are from NBI [National Bureau of Investigation.])

Duterte, who won a convincing victory in the May 2016 polls, has promised to rid the country of illegal drugs within his 6-year term.