By GENALYN D. KABILING
President Rodrigo Duterte has named slain Ozamiz City mayor Reynaldo Parojinog as among those who supposedly financed the Marawi siege.
The revelation came during his fifth visit to the conflict-torn city on Thursday.
Duterte also hinted other government officials in Central Mindanao most of whom have been linked to the illegal drug trade in the past as also being involved in funding the terrorists.
“We’re looking for the source of the money and I will just point it out to you as we now have a good picture of what happened in Marawi. This is the matrix,” Duterte said, showing a portion of a document with Parojinog’s name.
“That is part of the discovery of the military. Parojinog, the mayor who was killed by the police during a raid,” he added.
The President, however, declined to reveal other names in the so-called “matrix” so as “not to compromise” the ongoing investigation.
Parojinog was earlier included in the President’s list of suspected narco-politicians in the country. He was killed in an anti-drug operation in Ozamiz City last July.
Apart from drug money, the President hinted the Marawi rebellion has also been fueled by foreign funding.
He said the government learned about this with the assistance of “foreign investigators.”
“When we were trying to find out where this money came from, we asked the international investigators to give us a copy of the transmission of money and there was only one outstanding operator, aside from two civilians,” Duterte said.
“One was a police officer, she goes by the name Nobleza,” he added. “We saw the number of transactions she had with the foreign terrorist.”
Maria Cristina Nobleza was arrested in Bohol last April after supposedly trying to rescue suspected Abu Sayyaf members, including her boyfriend, a presumed bomb expert.
The President acknowledged the inflow of funds enabled the Maute group to acquire weapons and sustain their operations.
He said, “Let me ask you a question, we are in the third month, how come the Maute brothers and the terrorists were able to stockpile so much ordnance, bullets, IEDS (improvised explosive devices). Saan nila kinuha ‘yun?”
“I allowed them (soldiers) to search every house in the city. I never thought they (could) amass a large quantity of guns, explosives, ordnance. (But) name it they have it, they (even) have drones,” he said.