Manila: Two mayors from southern Philippines surrendered to authorities for alleged involvement in illegal drug trade, a senior official said.
“Mayor Mamaulan Abinal Molok of Maguing, Lanao del Sur, and former Mayor Mohammad Ali Abinal of Marantao voluntarily surrendered to me personally. They heard and received information that they are in the list of 23 mayors with links to [illegal] drug trade [in the Philippines],” said Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
“The two mayors were the down line of Johaira Macabuat, alias ‘Marimar’, former mayor of Maguing, Lanao del Sur, who was tagged as the ‘Mindanao shabu queen’,” said dela Rosa, adding, the two were tasked with pushing drugs in Metro Manila’s Quiapo district, southern suburban Cavite, and northern suburban Caloocan City from 2000 to 2002.
“They are no longer involved in illegal drug trade. They promised they will be leading the war against drugs in their respective municipalities. They promised to cooperate wholeheartedly,” dela Rosa said, adding, “They wanted to change.”
When presented to the media on late Friday afternoon, Abinal said, “I will help end illegal drug trade to the best of my ability.”
“I will do everything to persuade other drug personalities in his town to surrender,” Molok said,
Three more other drug-smeared mayors have surrendered, said dela Rosa, referring to a mayor from Maguindanao in southern Philippines.
“He was caught in traffic,” said dela Rosa. He added: “Another mayor from Mindanao [in the south] will surrender on Monday [Aug 8].” He did not give more details.
At the same time, Kerwin Espinosa, son of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr of Albuera Leyte, a suspected drug lord in central Philippines, is set to surrender, said dela Rosa.
The elder Espinosa had surrendered to dela Rosa on August 2. Sources said both father and son operated a “family-owned” illegal drug trade in central Philippines.
Five police generals were named earlier as protectors of drug lords.
Before President Rodrigo Duterte was elected last May 10, he promised to end the drug menace in his country in three to six months.
Convicted drug lords have been operating behind bars in several national penitentiaries nationwide, authorities said
Drug cartels from China, West Africa, and Korea smuggle shabu to the Philippines for distribution in Asia. Illegal drug-trade reached $ 8.4 billion (Dh30 billion) in the Philippines in 2013, records showed.