Shape up, Duterte warns those reviving ‘Kuratong Baleleng’

By Azer Parrocha

December 1, 2020, 7:59 am

<p>President Rodrigo Duterte</p>

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night warned those who are allegedly trying to revive the Kuratong Baleleng gang to "shape up", saying they do not stand a chance against government.

“Kayong mga pulis, p**… May mga pulis diyan sa Zamboanga del Sur na nagtatayo ng parang reviving the -- itong gang ni — humahawak sa Ozamiz? Kuratong Baleleng. Mayroon diyan, I read sa briefer mo galing ata sa iyo iyan (There are police there in Zamboanga del Sur sort of reviving the Kuratong Baleleng)…Better shape up,” he said in a taped speech.

Duterte said even if they tried to get rid of government forces, their efforts would go to waste.

“Gusto mamatay nang maaga. Hindi niyo kaya ang gobyerno. Patayin mo man si [Interior Secretary Eduardo] Año, patayin mo ako, patayin mo si ano, [Defense Secretary Delfin] Lorenzana, buhay pa rin ang Republika ng Pilipinas (You want to die early. You don’t stand a chance against government. Even if you kill Año, kill me, kill Lorenzana, the Republic of the Philippines will always be there),” he said.

In the same speech, Duterte also named government officials dismissed for corruption including former or incumbent members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police and local officials.

“We have come to the part where I have to honor the — my commitment to the people to report the progress of our campaign against graft and corruption,” he said.

Based in Ozamiz, the Kuratong Baleleng is an organized crime syndicate involved in activities such as kidnapping, robberies, drug trafficking, and other crimes.

The group spread to different parts of Mindanao and eventually reached parts of Cebu City and Metro Manila.

Kuratong Baleleng allegedly sourced weapons from the military, and it grew in force supposedly under Octavio “Ongkoy” Parojinog, Sr., who came from an influential Mindanao family.

In 1988, the military disbanded Kuratong Baleleng, but its remnants continued with their lawless pursuits in Ozamiz. (PNA)