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China offers Philippines help to go after Chinese drug gangs

  • Tarra Quismundo

    Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

MANILA   /   Thu, August 25, 2016   /  09:44 am
China offers Philippines help to go after Chinese drug gangs A pregnant witness, the live-in partner of JP Bertes, an alleged drug-pusher who was killed while in police custody, tearfully recounts their ordeal as she testifies before the Philippine Senate which is probing the extra judicial killings related to President Rodrigo Duterte's "War on Drugs" on Aug. 22 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. (AP/Bullit Marquez)

China’s ambassador to the Philippines has vowed to cooperate in the Philippines’ war against drugs. 

China has offered to conduct joint operations with Philippine authorities against Chinese gangs allegedly involved in illegal drugs in the Philippines, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said on Wednesday.

In a meeting of the Senate committee on foreign relations, Yasay said he had called Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on Monday for a dialogue on the involvement of Chinese citizens in the local drug trade.

“I had asked him about his clarifications explaining this matter, and he had indicated even … that he was going to come up, or China was going to come up, with a joint operation with our law enforcement agencies in this regard,” he said under questioning by Sen. Richard Gordon.

He said he would heed Gordon’s call for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to send China a note verbale to formally seek Beijing’s explanation on the supply of drugs in the Philippines from China.

“I have directed the formalization of your request, and we are sending a note verbale to precisely pursue this on a more aggressive note,” Yasay said.

In his letter to the DFA on Tuesday, Gordon asked Yasay to send a “vigorous note verbale” to China “to raise a level of dialogue and cooperation, requesting a more robust task force” to combat activities of Chinese drug lords.

Gordon proposed the creation of a joint task force “to identify patterns of passengers” who might be carrying contraband from China to the Philippines, and to “gather collective intelligence.”

The two sides should also “initiate capacity-building initiatives … against the transnational trafficking of drugs.”

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa earlier said almost all illegal drugs in the Philippines, whether finished products or raw materials, came from China. 

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