Iloilo City mayor denies drug links, welcomes assignment of Espenido


ILOILO City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said on Monday that he was not involved in illegal drugs “in any way”.

“I am an urban planner, developmental person and that’s where my focus was during these years,” said Mabilog, allegedly one of the local chief executives on President Rodrigo Duterte’s “drug list”.

Mabilog admitted that because of his background, “I totally depended on police and the PDEA to arrest the drug situation”.

PDEA is the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

In an interview on radio dzMM, Mabilog said he welcomed the assignment of Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido to Iloilo City.

Earlier on Monday, Duterte announced during his National Heroes’ Day speech at the Libingan ng mga Bayani that he was assigning Espenido to Iloilo City in response to the police official’s request.

“You (Espenido) ask for assignment? You were assigned in Albuera, and the mayor died. You got Ozamiz, the mayor died. If you go to Iloilo, would Mabilog stay alive? He has been identified as protector of drug personalities. I am asking you now because I might be the one who will they point at again [the moment the mayor dies],” Duterte said.

“Your next assignment is Iloilo,” Duterte added.

In the same speech, Duterte referred to Rolando Espinosa and Reynaldo Parajinog, mayors of Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City respectively who died in separate police raids amid allegations that they were involved in the illegal drug trade.

In both cases, Espenido was the chief of police.

READ: Cop in Espinosa slay faces probe anew in Ozamiz raid, along with ‘plenty’ others

Sought for a reaction, Mabilog said: “We follow the rule of law. Yun ang gagawin natin (That is what we will do). Pag dumating si Espenido (When Espenido arrives) and will come to see me in my office, I will show him what we have done.”

“From there, we will let him be the judge,” said Mabilog.

He cited that some of the measures he carried out in support of President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign were:

* having all drug surrenderees undergo rehabilitation;

* providing funds for canine units to guard the city’s entry and exit points;

* implementing “Tokhang Reboot” to make sure that no drug pusher or dependent is left behind;

* putting up a community, rehabilitation and treatment center in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Department of Health (DOH).

* extending financial assistance to anti-drug operations of police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

”If there are any shortcomings, the name of Iloilo is at stake although honestly, I have done everything since the President declared his war against corruption, especially on illegal drugs.”

Asked if he was willing to undergo a drug test, Mabilog said: “I have never tasted drugs in my whole life.”






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