Sinaloa cartel operates in the Philippines: President Duterte

“The Sinaloa cartel operates here, we are a transit point," President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte said.

(Photo: EFE)
English 03/08/2016 18:36 EFE Actualizada 18:54

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte denounced the presence of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel in the country, as part of his campaign aimed to end organized crime and drug trafficking in his first six months in office.

“The Sinaloa cartel operates here (...) we are a transit point," said the president, sworn in on June 30 in a public ceremony in Manila, according to the local newspaper "Inquirer ".

Duterte said that the presence of the Mexican cartel in the Philippines is because the United States has intensified the fight against drug trafficking.

More than 500 alleged traffickers and drug addicts have died in the Philippines during police operations and at the hands of civilian groups known as "vigilantes" since Duterte won the presidential election on May 9, according to local media.

Six people died today in a police operation at the residence of Rolando Espinosa, mayor of the town of Albuera in the province of Leyte.

Two days ago, Duterte publicly accused the mayor and his son Kerwin to be involved in drug trafficking and gave them 24 hours to surrender.

The mayor turned himself in to the police but his son still at large.