The Philippine National Police is now coordinating with the military for possible joint operations amid intelligence reports that a lot of drug lords are now seeking refuge in Marawi City and nearby areas.
Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa, PNP chief, said the drug lords even sought the protection of various armed groups in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur to protect them.
“Right now, we were informed that a lot of drug lords from Luzon, Visayas, and some parts of Mindanao are now in Marawi City, they are now hiding there,” said Dela Rosa in a press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City yesterday.
“They may be seeking safe haven there, in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur area,” he added.
Dela Rosa would not name the groups that he said are now coddling the drug lords but the area is known to be infested by many extortion and extremist groups.
There are some areas in Lanao del Sur considered as territory of some Muslim rebel groups.
“If they would coddle them, then we will request the Philippine Air Force to bomb your place,” warned Dela Rosa.
The PNP chief said they received reports of the migration of the drug lords amid the intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign of the PNP.
“If you cannot account these drug lords in Manila, Visayas, and some parts of Mindanao, they are actually in Marawi,” said Dela Rosa.
Government troops are having difficulty operating in Marawi City and nearby areas due to the presence of rebel and heavily-armed groups. (Aaron B. Recuenco)