President Rodrigo Duterte’s defense of presidential son Paolo ‘Pulong’ Duterte highlights the duplicity of his anti-drug war, said the youth group Anakbayan. “This only demonstrates how close Duterte allies are deceitfully shielded from investigation while small-time drug peddlers, users, and mere suspects are murdered by police without any due process,” the group emphasized.

This is the youth group’s response to a statement made by President Duterte to the media early Sunday morning advising his son Pulong Duterte, also Davao City Vice Mayor, to invoke his “right to silence” during Senate hearings.

The presidential son has been linked to the so-called “Davao Group” of businessmen and smugglers involved in the shipment of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China that went through the Bureau of Customs and was discovered in a Valenzuela warehouse last May.

Presidential son-in-law Atty. Mans Carpio, husband of President Duterte’s daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, has also been linked to this illegal drugs smuggling ring.

Anakbayan said Duterte’s double standards only fans public suspicion that his anti-drugs campaign is in reality a nefarious scheme using the police and military war machine to favor and give protection for certain criminal syndicates against rival groups.

“Could it be that the presidential son or maybe even the president himself, a self-confessed user of the powerful opioid fentanyl, is the country’s biggest kingpin?” the youth group asked.

With the protection enjoyed by Pulong and the Davao Group, the group added many are beginning to wonder if the “war on drugs” is not itself a grand cover-up for a systematic attempt to take over and monopolize the country’s lucrative drug trade. It can be recalled that the Parojinogs of Ozamiz controlled the drug trade in a large part of Mindanao

“The war on drugs has unraveled as a fascist instrument par excellence used to solidify Duterte’s rule and intimidate political rivals. The ruling Duterte clique is bent on using the threat of being killed like Ozamiz Mayor Parojinog and Albuera Mayor Espinoza to blackmail political enemies into submission,” the group said.

Anakbayan called on the public to step up pressure on the Duterte regime to stop its fascist war on drugs, saying it was the massive public uproar that forced Duterte to meet the parents of tokhang victim Kian Delos Santos and the cancellation of Duterte hangman Espenido’s assignment to Iloilo city. Espenido is widely acknowledged to be behind the killing of Parojinog and Espinoza.

The youth group called on the Filipino youth and people to join and organize massive protests against the criminal war on drugs of the “US-Duterte dictatorship” which will culminate this month with a big rally on the martial law anniversary on September 21.


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