Duterte claims drugs in PH imported from Taiwan syndicate

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The President has reiterated his claim that illegal drugs in the country are being supplied by a top drug syndicate based in Taiwan. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 22) — The President reiterated his claim that illegal drugs in the country are now being imported from Taiwan.

In a speech Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said there are no more laboratories producing illegal drugs in the country as all of them are being supplied by the Taiwan-based Bamboo Triad, one of the world's most powerful drug syndicates.

"Now, there is no more laboratory if at all dito sa Pilipinas [here in the Philippines]. They are avoiding it because it's very dangerous…So what we have now is imported. It comes from the Bamboo Triad," he said during the the Conference of the League of Municipalities Visayas chapter.

The President first made this claim in his speech in September 2017, when he emphasized that the country's drug problem comes from Taiwan. He also mentioned the 14K or Hong Kong Triad as a supplier.

"Itong drugs ngayon [These drugs], it's being operated by the 14K, Bamboo Triad. They have taken over," he said previously. "It's actually from Taiwan at lahat na [it's everything]."

The Bamboo Triad was among the drug syndicates identified by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as a top supplier of shabu in the Philippines. PDEA also named the 14K Triad, and the China-based Sun Yee On Triad as lead smugglers.

READ: Three global drug syndicates supply shabu to Philippines

President Duterte also criticized the United States for allegedly covering up their failure to control their drug problem by labelling marijuana as a "beneficial" drug, based on a documentary he watched.

"They cannot control marijuana, so they just had to come up with a statement that marijuana sometimes or maybe is a chemical that is beneficial because it kills pain," he said.

He said although some drugs are considered organic, shabu poses a greater threat due to its chemical nature.

"Itong [This] shabu is characterized as the most toxic and lethal. Simply because shabu comes from a mixture of chemicals. Unlike cocaine, cannabis, or heroin, they are extracts from the poppy, organic. Itong [This] shabu, chemical," he said.

Duterte's statements come amid an ongoing investigation on a multi-billion peso shabu shipment from another Taiwan-based drug syndicate, that has allegedly slipped through government inspection.

The President previously dismissed the incident as "pure speculation."

READ: Duterte: Entry of ₱6.8 billion worth of shabu is 'pure speculation'