Dela Rosa: Maute, narcopoliticians 'protect each other'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa says the Maute group is conniving with narcopoliticians.

In a briefing this morning, Dela Rosa said prior to assuming his position as chief of the PNP in July last year, he received information that a "drug summit" happened between members of the Maute group, narcopoliticians, and drug lords.

"Even before July 1, 'yung pag-assume natin at inannounce natin agad na magsurrender ang drug lords, we received an information na lahat ng mga, karamihan ng mga drug lords dito sa Metro Manila, Luzon, and Visayas ay pumunta doon sa Marawi at nagkaroon sila ng drug summit and they were protected by the Maute group and the narcopoliticians, nagmeeting sila doon. Merong information na ganun."

[Translation: Even before July 1, when I assumed my post and and I announced that there were drug lords who surrendered immediately, we recived information that most of the drug lords from Metro Manila, Luzon, and Visayas went to Marawi had a drug summit and they were protected by the Maute group and narcopoliticians. We received that information.]

Dela Rosa said narcopoliticians and the Maute group had each other's backs.

"They protect each other and they support each other."

Duterte: It boils down to drugs

In a speech in Jolo on Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte said the problems in Marawi was not just an ISIS campaign by the Maute group, but about illegal drugs as well..

"Ang puno't dulo diyan is droga kasi diyan ang hotbed ng shabu pati drug sa Mindanao. Hindi pa nga dito eh. Diyan 'yung lahat ng mga politiko na gustong yumaman, kahit sino doon na kung marunong lang."

[Translation: It all boils down to drugs, because the hotbed of shabu and drugs in Mindanao is there. It's not here. All the politicians who want to get rich, anyone as long as they're smart.]

Duterte added, "Kaya 'yung mga Maute, magkapatid 'yan na pulis, nung nakita nila sa Maynila na maganda ang negosyo, umuwi 'yan sa Marawi, nagtayo ng malaking laboratory. Hindi lang nakuha ng news 'yung sa likod nung ni-raid nila, iyong sa tatay nila 'yon. Diyan nagumpisa."

[Translation: The Maute, they are policemen. When they saw that business in Manila was good, they went home to Marawi and build a laboratory. They news wasn't able to pick it up but the property they raided belonged to the Maute's father. That's where it started.]

Dela Rosa clarified reports that the Maute brothers were former policemen.

"Hindi yun mga pulis. Pulis-pulisan," he said.

[Translation: They are not police. They only pretended to be.]

He said the Maute brothers acted like policemen because they protected drug lords.

"Kaya nasabi ni Presidente yun, nagpupulis-pulisan, protektor ng drug lord. Kasi kapag protektor, nasa isip ni Presidente pulis. Drug protector yun."

[Translation: The reason why the President said that, they acted like police, protectors of drug lords. Because the President thinks that when you're a protector, you're a policeman. They're drug protectors.]

The Marawi crisis timeline

Reports of firefight in Marawi started  arriving at around 2 p.m. on May 23.

It was said to be heavy and sporadic firefight between the military and armed men later identified as members of the Maute group.

Later in the day, there are reports of the Marawi Police Station and the Marawi City Jail are taken over by the Maute group.

At 11:20 p.m., President Duterte, via Presidential Spokesperson Abella, declared martial law over Mindanao.

As of yesterday, Malacañang said 61 terrorists, 16 government troops, and 19 civilians have been killed in the clashes.