Duterte claims Taiwan is major source of drugs in Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte claims that Taiwan is a major source of drugs in the Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in a speech listed Taiwan as a country where many of his country's illegal drugs are coming from, Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Gary Lin (林松煥) frankly conceded that "our counterpart is telling the truth," in an interview with Apple Daily. 

During a speech at a police academy alumni association, Duterte said that the drug trade in the Philippines is run by organized crime and it would not function if it did not have upstream production in China and Taiwan. 

Lin pointed out that China is the main source of illegal narcotics in the Philippines, but Taiwanese are also involved in terms of serving as drivers and drug engineers. 

Lin added that Duterte is speaking the truth in the sense that the drug problem in the Philippines is a transnational issue which includes China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Therefore, Taiwan has been working closely with the Philippines to fight drug trafficking, and thus far the results have been good, said Lin. What Duterte wants to express is: "it is only through cooperation that eradication can occur," according to Lin.

Lin emphasized that many young Taiwanese people have been involved in the drug trade in the Philippines, and it has been a problem the government has been trying to rectify for years. Despite efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to improve Taiwan's image, out of greed some young people have gone to the Philippines to traffic, transport, and design illegal drugs. In addition, there have been a small number Taiwanese fishing vessels that have been involved in smuggling drugs into the Philippines, according to Lin.