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“I will execute you.”
President Duterte said this to Filipino-Chinese businessman Peter Lim from Cebu if it will be proven that he is indeed in the top tier of the illegal drug triad operating in the country.
Duterte made the warning straight to Lim’s face during a meeting at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency office in Davao City Friday.
To prove his innocence, Duterte urged Lim to submit himself to an investigation by the Department of Justice to clear his name.
The President has identified Lim as one of three individuals who are allegedly in the top tier of the illegal drug triad operating in the country. The two others are Wu Tuan, alias “Peter Co,” and Herbert Colangco, alias “Ampang,” both detained at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.
Lim is reportedly in charge of the Visayas triad while Tuan is responsible for the Luzon triad. Colangco is allegedly a drug lord aligned with the Parojinog Drug Syndicate Kuratong Baleleng Gang. Retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr. was also mentioned as the associate and protector of the triad hierarchy.
During the meeting, a video of which was posted by the RTVM on social media, Duterte asked Lim if he knows that he is suspected to be drug lord.
Lim answered yes but claimed he is 500 percent clean and is in no way involved in the illicit trade. He admitted though being investigated by Congress in 1997 then 2001.
As Lim’s name has been coming out in the illegal drug investigations, Duterte advised him to get a lawyer and go to the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila and submit himself for questioning.
“So okay, you are not Peter Lim? You go to NBI,” Duterte said. He said the NBI will review the evidence against Lim and he wants to give Lim a chance to air his side based on rule of law and due process.
Lim replied, “I could clear up everything because my family is really in deep problem now in Cebu.”
Duterte said he will not say sorry to Lim, saying, “The reason why you are here is because you are a suspected drug lord.”
According to the President, he has to crack down on the illegal drug trade in the country that has already corrupted even the police.
The President reiterated his strong stance against illegal drugs, especially shabu, which he said destroys human beings beyond rehabilitation.
Lim thanked the President for giving time and opportunity to clear himself as he assured the President that he will help in the fight against drugs in whatever way he can.
However, Duterte told Lim, “Sorry I cannot save you.” Lim replied, “Yes, I understand,” and added, “If I’m not clear I will put up my hands to you because our nation is very lucky to have you because without you I don’t know. You are the only President who could save our nation.” (ELENA L. ABEN)