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PHILIPPINE LEADER LINKS 150 JUDGES, POLITICIANS TO DRUGS

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte publicly linked more than 150 judges, mayors, lawmakers, police and military personnel to illegal drugs Sunday, ordering them to surrender for investigation as he ratcheted up his bloody war against what he calls a “pandemic.”

Duterte promptly relieved members of the military and police he named from their current posts and ordered government security personnel to be withdrawn from politicians he identified in a nationally televised speech. He also ordered gun licenses of those named revoked.

“All military and police who are attached to these people, I’m giving you 24 hours to report to your mother unit or I will whack you. I’ll dismiss you from the service,” Duterte said in the speech at a military camp in southern Davao city.

He said that the list of politicians, judges and law enforcers given to him by the military and police might or might not be true, but that he had a duty to disclose to the public how the drug problem had become so pervasive.

“There is no due process in my mouth,” Duterte said. “You can’t stop me and I’m not afraid even if you say that I can end up in jail.”

The list of names, which Duterte said included some friends, has been validated by authorities but did not contain details of the officials’ alleged involvement to the drug trade or offer any evidence. Some names were incomplete, while others had no rank or government position. – READ MORE

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