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Mayors hit out at ‘politically-motivated’ inclusion in ‘narco list’

Mayors hit out at ‘politically-motivated’ inclusion in ‘narco list’

philstar
MANILA
Local executives said their inclusion on the government’s list of politicians with alleged links to illegal drug trade was “politically motivated.” President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night bared the names of 46 politicians—35 mayors, seven vice mayors, one provincial board member and three members of the House of Representatives—included on the so-called “narco list.” The controversial drug list was released two months ahead of the May midterm polls.
The Department of Interior and Local Government said it has filed complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against the said incumbent government officials. Roderick Alcala, mayor of Lucena City in Quezon, tagged House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez as the person responsible for his inclusion on the latest narco-list.
“Mismong si Rep. Danny Suarez tumawag sa akin, sinabihan ako na may hawak siyang dokumento. Pag di ko pinatigil isang broadcaster, ilalabas niya ito. Alam ko on my part na sila ang behind dito,” Alacala told ABS CBN News Channel in an interview.
(Rep. Danny Suarez called me and told me he has documents. If I don’t stop the broadcaster, he would release it. I know on my part that they are behind my inclusion.) While denying his involvement in the illegal drug trade, Alcala said he is ready to face charges to clear his name.
Suarez has said he had nothing to do with the list.
Mayor Caesar Perez of Los Baños in Laguna also denied drug involvement and said the move was “politically motivated.” He said rumors of his involvement in illegal drugs have been circulating since 2017.
“Masyadong unfair on my part kasi ang tinignan lang nila kung ano ‘yung nakararating sa kanila. Dapat siguro merong due process,” Perez also told ABS CBN News Channel.
(It is really unfair on my part because they only saw what was given to them. There should have been due process.) Ferdinand Aguinaldo, mayor of Pasuquin in Ilocos Norte, also said that politics is behind his inclusion in the “narco list.” Aguinaldo said authorities should validate its list again, claiming 90 percent of his constituents know the truth about the allegations against him. The Ilocos Norte mayor is in Manila to celebrate his wedding anniversary but said he will face his constituents and explain his inclusion in the list. He said his camp is still studying what their next steps will be.
“Papalapit na po ang eleksyon at talaga naman pong panahon ng eleksyon, napakarami pong paninira, maraming isyu na sinasabi,” Mayor Jefferson Khonghun of Subic in Zambales, who is running for vice governor of Zambales, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday before the list was read out.

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