Duterte admits wiretapping alleged narcopoliticians

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Davao City (CNN Philippines, September 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he wiretapped politicians allegedly involved in the drug trade.

During his fifth visit in Marawi City on Thursday, the President said he listened to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, whom he had accused of being a shabu protector, as well as slain Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr.

"Don't ask me how I…What kind of listening device. It was a whisper from God and I was listening to him. So they were all tapped," he said.

Parojinog Sr., along with 14 others, died on July 30 in a police operation.

Read: PNP Chief: Ozamiz raids legitimate, no rubout of Parojinogs

Duterte said Mabilog, who filed a sick leave until the end of the month because of diabetes, is now out of the country "because he is afraid to suffer the same fate with Parojinog."

Duterte in August named Iloilo City as the "most shabulized" city in the Philippines.

Illegally wiretapped communications are inadmissible as evidence in court, as per the 1987 Constitution and the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

Law enforcers are allowed to wiretap private communications in relation to cases of treason, espionage, rebellion or sedition and kidnapping, but only with a court order.

Some senators previously said they were amenable to amending the anti-wiretapping law for the government's war on drugs.

READ: De Lima, Lacson agree to amending anti-wiretapping law for war on drugs

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Friday said being a lawyer, the President was "operating within bounds of legality."

The admission to wiretapping comes after the President said he only invented the number of the alleged bank accounts of Senator Antonio Trillanes.

READ: Duterte: I made up Trillanes' Singapore bank account number

CNN Philippines' Gerg Cahiles and Yvette Morales contributed to this report.