• QC mayor denies links to drug trade

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    Mayor Herbert Bautista of Quezon City on Saturday maintained that he was never involved in any illicit drug operations in the city.

    “I will never involve myself to the illegal drug trade. Anti-drug has been my advocacy since I was 17 years old,” Bautista said in a statement.

    Bautista, who is currently working as a peace adviser of the government panel in the peace talks with communist rebels, issued the statement a day after the Volunteers Against Crime and Corrpution (VACC) filed complaints against him and his brother, Councilor Hero Bautista, for dishonesty, neglect of duty, misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

    “As to my brother Hero—it pains me, my sister Harlene and the rest of our family that Hero is a drug dependent,” the mayor said. “It is really very painful for us. It is good that he took the drug test and was found to be a drug user. He is now undergoing rehabilitation.”

    Bautista admitted that people have been asking why he did not try to address Hero’s use of illegal drugs.
    He explained that he and his brother have their own concerns and lead separate lives.

    “Hero is 48 years old, has his own family, is independent from us. We barely see or talk to each other because we, as individuals, have our own set of lives and concerns,” the mayor said.

    “We only see each other on special family gatherings,” he added.

    Bautista, however, maintained that he is proud of Hero for taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions.

    The mayor also belied rumors that he had a hand in the appointment of district directors of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) whose two chiefs were linked to the illegal trade trade.

    “He is concluding that because the two generals linked in the illegal drug trade were former QCPD chiefs ergo the mayor is too,” Bautista said, referring to VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez.

    He said he never received a list from the Philippine National Police of recommended police officials even if the policy allows the local chief executive to choose candidates for the regional directors.

    “In my experience as QC mayor, it has always been (and up to this point) a district director is appointed to QCPD without any consultation or “courtesy” to the LCE,” he stressed.

    “Secondly, because I am not technically involved in the affairs of the QCPD, it is imperative that the District Director is given full administrative and operational control over the QCPD’s rank and file,” Bautista said.

    He added that the city government continues to support the QCPD in its efforts to curb criminality and stop the drug menace.

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