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Duterte red flags ‘Kuratong’ revival

He dared these policemen to shape up, saying they do not stand a chance against the government

MJ Blancaflor

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Some police officers in Zamboanga del Sur are reorganizing the crime group “Kuratong Baleleng,” President Rodrigo Duterte claimed on Monday.

Without elaborating, the President cited unnamed policemen in Mindanao who are allegedly strengthening the crime syndicate that gained notoriety in the 1990s.

“There’s this gang of policemen, led by those in Ozamis, which is reviving the ‘Kuratong Baleleng,’” Duterte said.

But he dared these policemen to “shape up,” saying they do not stand a chance against the government.

“Better shape up. Do you want to die early? Even if you kill (Interior Secretary Eduardo) Año, or me, or (Defense Secretary Delfin) Lorenzana, the republic will survive,” the Chief Executive stated.

Based in Misamis Occidental, the “Kuratong Baleleng” was established in 1986 to guard the province against communist guerillas.

The group’s first leader, chosen directly by the military, was Octavio “Ongkoy” Parojinog, who came from an influential Mindanao family.

Parojinog was later killed by soldiers who came to arrest him for a case of illegal possession of explosives.

After the group disbanded in 1988, some members continued to operate as an organized crime syndicate involved in kidnappings, robberies and drug trafficking activities.

Some members allegedly built other crime groups in different parts of Mindanao, as well as in Cebu City and Metro Manila.

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