Opposition senators want to know: Why is the government appointing a drug lord to negotiate with the Maute Group, which is behind the months-long Marawi siege?
“Akala ko ba galit ang administrasyon sa iligal na droga pero bakit nila hinahayaan ang isang drug lord para makipagnegosasyon sa Maute group?” said Partido Liberal president, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, referring to former Marawi City mayor Omar Solitario Ali.
Last June 23, or a month into the Marawi siege, the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) in Mindanao recovered two kilograms of shabu worth about P10 million and other drug paraphernalia at Solitario Ali’s house in Barangay Bangon, Marawi.
Solitario is included in Duterte’s list of narco-politicians. He is also accused of being a financier of the Maute group.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who is also the concurrent martial law administrator, said he ordered the removal of Solitario Ali from the list of persons ordered arrested under martial law for alleged rebellion as recommended by Peace Adviser Secretary Jess Dureza.
“Kung prayoridad ng administrasyon ang gera kontra droga, dapat managot ang lahat ng may kinalaman sa drug trade, pati ang mga kaalyado ng Presidente,” Sen. Bam Aquino added.
Aquino insisted that the government should be transparent in its dealings with Solitario Ali so he will not escape liability in connection with his illegal drugs case.
“We are willing to accept any help that the government can get to end the Marawi siege once and for all. However, this should not be used as reason to exonerate Solitario of the rebellion and drug charges filed against him,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Frank Drilon.
Furthermore, he said cases filed against Solitario should be pursued to prove that the government is serious in prosecuting those involved in illegal drugs.
23 June 2017
Police recover P10-M shabu from ex-Marawi mayor’s house
10 September 2017
Duterte confirms ex-Marawi mayor on narco-list negotiating with Maute