- Local government officials from Northern and Central Luzon accused of involvement in the illegal drug trade have denied the allegations from President Rodrigo Duterte
- The local officials said that they are just victim of dirty politics
- They also expressed their fear over possible vigilante attacks and their desire to seek an audience with the President
Local government officials from Northern and Central Luzon who were included in the list of names of alleged drug criminals revealed by President Rodrigo Duterte have denied the allegations against them.
“I have followed the President’s order to report to my superiors. I will also seek an audience with the President. I am willing to undergo investigation to protect the integrity of my family, myself and the people who have trusted me,” Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales of Pampanga said.
He added that he feared for his life because of the recent spate of summary executions of alleged drug criminals. According to Morales, his political enemies might have brought misinformation to the investigators in order to destroy his reputation.
In Pangasinan, Representative Jesus Celeste also denied his involvement in the illegal drug trade, also saying that he is just a victim of dirty politics. “My political detractors were successful in making the President believe that I’m into illegal drugs,” the congressman said.
He pointed out that since 2001, his political enemies have already accused him of several crimes such as illegal drugs and even murder. However, Celeste said that he was cleared of the accusations by the courts.
In La Union, Bauang town Mayor Martin de Guzman’s spokesperson said that the accused mayor is a religious person who advocates against the illegal drug trade.
“He will clear his name and no amount of black propaganda can put down his good name,” the spokesperson promised.
In Cagayan, Lasam town Mayor Marjorie Apil-Salazar surrendered to the police on Sunday. Cagayan PNP director Senior Supt. Ronaldo Olay said that the mayor will be brought to Duterte within 24 hours.
Senators Franklin Drilon and Leila De Lima have already expressed their concern about the strategy of Duterte in naming and shaming the local officials suspected of being involved with illegal drugs. The senators pointed out that the President should follow due process and show solid evidence against the accused. – Kami Media