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Estrada: No anti-Muslim plot in Quiapo drug raid

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada yesterday clarified that the drug raid in Quiapo’s Islamic Center last Friday was aimed at flushing out and arresting users and pushers of illegal drugs, whether or not they are Muslims.

“Ito’y hindi laban sa Muslim. Laban lang sa droga. We’re telling our Muslim brothers that we are not against them.  We’re against addicts and pushers,” Estrada said of the Quiapo raid, the first police operation at the Islamic Center since the Marcos years.

Estrada added that the raid should serve as warning to city and barangay officials involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Mayor Estrada (Manila Bulletin)

Mayor Estrada
(Manila Bulletin)

Incumbent Barangay 648 Chairman Faiz Macabato, who was killed in the bloody anti-drug operation, was among those who did not submit a list of drug users and pushers in his jurisdiction, Estrada added.

“He didn’t submit a list. It was his choice. He resisted,” Estrada said.

“It was not surprising at all. Even some mayors are protectors of drug traffickers, mga barangay chairman pa kaya?”

Macabato, who was killed after reportedly fighting it out with the police who were about to serve an arrest warrant for his brother, drug suspect Gaus Macabato.

Gaus was also killed, along with former barangay councilor Marik Bayanton.

Four others were killed in separate encounters in the area.

The city government has required all 896 barangay chairmen to identify suspected drug pushers and dependents in their communities to help the Manila Police District (MPD) and facilitate the counselling and rehabilitation program for drug users who want to change their ways.

“I warned them already, n’ung araw pa,” the Manila mayor said of the barangay officials suspected of involvement in drug trade.

“May this be a warning to them. There is no sacred cow in our anti-drug campaign. Wala kaming sisinuhin.”