Drug syndicates inside the bureaucracy
Rodrigo Duterte appointed a retired colonel who is in cahoots both with drug and electoral syndicates as executive director of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict last March 25.
Ret. Col. Allen Arat Capuyan is known for his role in the P6.4 billion shabu smuggling case in the Bureau of Customs (BoC) last 2017. He was then the chief security officer of the Manila International Airport Authority. He was identified by Mark Taguba, a BoC personnel who was involved in the scam, as part of the influential Davao Group whom druglords pay to have their shipments exempted from inspections. The group includes Duterte’s son Paolo and son-in-law Manases Carpio.
In 2011, Capuyan’s name already surfaced as the chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who received and burned the “Hello Garci” tapes of the 2004 elections. The tape contained the negotiation between Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the presidentiable, and Virgilio Garcillano, Commission on Elections commissioner, for an additional one million votes for Arroyo.
Another individual, a certain Michael Yang, a Chinese businessman and Duterte’s close advisor on Chinese issues, was identified as an associate in the widescale production and sale of shabu in Mindanao and Luzon.
In a report submitted by then PSSupt. Eduardo Acierto, Yand and his associates Johnson Chua and Allan Lim were directly implicated in the smugling and selling of drugs mainly in Mindanao. According to Acierto’s report, Yang and Lim supervise shabu distribution inside the country and in nearby countries using their BoC contacts while Chua takes care of their laboratories. Lim and Yang get as much as P50,000 per kilo of shabu, according to Acierto. This syndicate uses their legitimate businesses as a cover for their illegal transactions.
Capuyan and Yang are just a few of the personalities in Duterte’s ambit who have direct links to drug syndicates. He gives them the freedom to plunder and exploit the nation, in exchange for their money, loyalty and support to his dictatorial ambitions.