Drug traffickers turn to Indonesia following Duterte’s drug war

UNTV News   •   August 1, 2017   •   9320


FILE PHOTO: Indonesian policemen burn methamphetamine after a raid in Medan, North Sumatra province, Indonesia July 19, 2017 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Septianda Perdana via REUTERS.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said, “Life has become so dangerous for drug personalities here in the Philippines so naghanap sila ng iba (they are looking elsewhere).”

He agrees with Indonesian Anti-Narcotics Agency Chief Budi Waseso that Indonesia has become an unlikely victim of the Duterte Administration’s war on drugs, claiming that more drug traffickers have re-directed shipments of methamphetamine, known as “shabu” in Southeast Asia, toward Indonesia.

Waseso said, “This is an un-debatable proof that the effect of Philippine’s strong act (against drug) has impacted Indonesia, making it to become a new (drug) market because of the proximity of islands and connected by sea. There are so many illegal landing points and small ports they use to dock.”

For this reason, Dela Rosa said all ASEAN member nations should be united when it comes to combating illegal drugs in the region.

“United ang effort dapat ng ASEAN countries pagdating sa bagay na iyan kasi sila ang ating neighbors,” Dela Rosa said. (ASEAN countries should be united in effort against illegal drugs because we are neighbors.)

Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told law enforcement officers to shoot drug traffickers if they resist arrest to deal with a narcotics emergency facing the archipelago.

But Commissioner Waseso said Indonesia will not emulate Duterte’s drug war though he praised its aims.

“But that is a significant example of how a president takes care of its country. Indonesia is a state of law, it has its own laws [in tackling drug dealers]. We don’t need to follow them (Philippines), but we must respect Philippines because it’s their country and we cannot intervene. Only God can do it,” Commissioner Waseso said. – Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

Report on PH looming as SEA’s COVID-19 epicenter ‘speculative’, Testing Czar says

Robie de Guzman   •   August 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Declaring the Philippines as the next possible epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Southeast Asia is speculative, the government’s testing czar Vince Dizon said Thursday.

Dizon issued the statement in response to a report from Singapore-based The Straits Times which claimed that the Philippines could soon become the new virus epicenter in Southeast Asian region due to the continued increase in COVID-19 infections.

The Philippines on Thursday reported 3,561 additional infections, bringing the total number of cases to 119,460. Of the total number, 50,473 are active cases.

Dizon pointed out that the increase in the country’s coronavirus infections is only “normal” due to improved testing capacity and increased contact among the public following the relaxation of community quarantine measures to reopen the slumping economy.

“Speculative ‘yun pero ang masasabi ko, dumami na ang testing natin. Tayo na ang pinakamataas sa Southeast Asia sa testing per day. Nasa halos 1.7 million na ang nate-test natin sa buong bansa. Mahigit 1 million diyan ay nasa NCR (National Capital Region) lamang at tuluy-tuloy nating gagawin ito,” he said during a press briefing.

“Habang tayo ay nagtetest, talagang marami tayong makikitang positibo. Pero mas importante ‘yun kasi kung hindi natin sila mahahanap at hindi natin sila mai-isolate e lalong kakalat at lalong dadami ang magkakasakit,” he added.

The government has re-imposed stricter community quarantine measures over Metro Manila and nearby areas until August 18 in the hopes of arresting the rising cases of COVID-19.

The move follows the call of the medical community for a timeout to recuperate from the exhausting battle against the pandemic. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Pompeo says US doesn’t ask Southeast Asians to take sides

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019

Courtesy: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Southeast Asian counterparts at a meeting in Bangkok on Thursday (August 1) that the United States never asked Indo-Pacific nations to take sides.

Regional rivalry between the United States and an increasingly powerful China hangs over this week’s security meetings between foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and world powers.

“Look, we don’t ever ask any Indo-Pacific nations to choose between countries,” Pompeo said at the start of the meeting. “Our engagement in this region has not been and will not be a zero-sum exercise. Our interests simply naturally converge with yours to our mutual benefit,” he added.

The ASEAN 10-nation regional bloc consists of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Brunei, and Singapore. (REUTERS)

(Production: Artorn Pookasook, Vorasit Satienlerk, Jiraporn Kuhakan, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

Shabu seized in East, Southeast Asia at record high —UN

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 13, 2019

A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) investigation unit shows confiscated methamphetamine, known locally as Shabu, along with Philippines pesos seized from suspected drug pushers during an operation by the police in Quiapo city, metro Manila, Philippines July 3,… REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

In a report released by the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Monday, shabu seized in East and Southeast Asia had increased in 2018.

Data shows that 116 tons of shabu were seized in the region in 2018 which is a 210% increase compared with recorded seizures in 2013. UNODC also raised concerns about the increase of shabu production in the regions.

From UNODC Synthetic Drugs in East and South-East Asia

“Increased quantities of methamphetamine seizures and decreases in retail prices of the drug in East and South-East Asia suggest that the supply of the drug has expanded,” according to the statement of UNODC.

READ: Duterte’s drug war to continue despite more than 5,000 death toll

In the Philippines, the administration vows to launch a harsher war on illegal drugs, taking on what President Rodrigo Duterte previously said that illegal drugs are destroying the country. —Aileen Cerrudo


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