• Governors, mayors linked to drugs hiding in Marawi City
  • President Duterte reveals names of 27 mayors in drug trade
  • President orders bombing of armed drug havens

Authorities are now closely looking into reports that local government officials, including governors and mayors from  Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have been hiding in Marawi City; the Lanao capital considered as spiritual center of Muslim Mindanao.

This was revealed by Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa recently in a brief communique, which did not give further details as to why and who may be providing the “narco governors and mayors” a sanctuary in the Mindanao city.

De la Rosa revealed in a radio interview over DZBB that President Rodrigo Duterte has already identified some 27 mayors cited as protectors of drug lords in a closed-door meeting with aides, but refused to give their names.

The President earlier enjoined the concerned agencies to “double-check” reports and the veracity of their sources before revealing the identity of government officials who are involved in coddling and protecting illegal drug operations — “so as to avoid unduly destroying their reputations.”

Duterte, however, qualified that there are two kinds of drug protectors: “The one that protects by telling lawmen not to touch them, and those who are pro-active protectors, local officials who are themselves involved in the drug trade”; reiterating his directive to the police and other law enforcement agencies to be “relentless in pursuing these local officials who, by allowing drug lords to operate, are destroying the future of Filipino children.”

 The President also said “if those providing them safe havens are armed, then we will request the Air Force to bomb them, if necessary.”

President Duterte also revealed that two mayors, when faced with the possibility of being shot on sight for refusing to surrender, had wept before him; pleading with him to “spare their lives and the humiliation if being publicly identified as local officials with links to the illegal drug trade.”