Philippine President Seeks US Help in Curbing Drug Trade

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged the United States to help the Philippines control drug smuggling, blaming criminal gangs based in Hong Kong and Taiwan for the use of the country as a shipping hub for drugs.

In a speech at the 56th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Constitution Association, Mr. Duterte also said illegal drugs had funded the seizure by pro-Islamic State group terrorists of large parts of Marawi City in May.

More than 800 people have died in the conflict, which Mr. Duterte said was triggered by an attempt to arrest a drug suspect, who he did not identify.

Transshipment point

“The Philippines is a transshipment [point] of shabu to America,” Mr. Duterte said, using the local term for crystal meth. “[I]t behooves upon America to work closely with the Republic of the Philippines, especially on this serious matter.”

“We are flooded with drugs. This is the first time I would reveal it … the Philippines today is a client state of the Bamboo Triad. They have taken over the operations in Southeast Asia,” he said.

He said he could not blame China for the drugs being shipped to the Philippines because Filipinos also produced illegal drugs.

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