No mayors cleared yet in drug probe – DILG

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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ILOILO City – As far as the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Task Force Agila is concerned, none of the Iloilo mayors President Rodrigo Duterte linked to illegal drugs has been cleared yet.

The task force was formed to investigate public officials that the President named and shamed in August last year. The four from Iloilo were mayors Jed Patrick Mabilog of this city, Mariano Malones of Maasin, Sigfriedo Betita of Carles, and Alex Centena of Calinog.

Citing a supposedly revalidated list that the President forwarded to the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), the camps of the mayors claimed their names were not in it.

Task force chairman and DILG undersecretary John Castriciones said he had no idea about that list.

“So there appears to be two different lists. Task Force Agila is investigating the first list,” said Castriciones in a radio interview yesterday.

Regarding the second list, he said, “Ang alam po namin ibibigay po ‘yun sa DILG, at ang DILG po ang mag iimbistiga din po n’yan sa pamamagitan ng aming regional task force.”

“Pero kung ‘yan po ay talagang pinadala ni Presidente Duterete, yun po ang masusunod,” Castriciones said.

The undersecretary also said that as far as he understood it, the second list that the President was supposed to release would be the second batch of public officials linked to illegal drugs, not the revalidation of the first list.

“(I)n my capacity as chairman of Task Force Agila, wala pa pong na-clear sa naunang listahan dahil hindi pa po kami tapos sa pag-iimbestiga…kung meron pong ganyan (revalidated list), e indi po namin alam ‘yan,” he stressed.

Castriciones also said they were “not even informed by anyone, or any authority for that matter, that clearance has been issued to those in the first listing.”

As the agency tasked to conduct the investigation, he said, any supposed clearing of public officials included in the President’s first list should come from DILG and not from anyone else.

“From what I understand, police officials linked to drugs should be cleared by the police. It is the DILG that should clear local government officials, and it is the Armed Forces of the Philippines that should clear soldiers. On the other hand, it is the Supreme Court that should clear judges and prosecutors linked to drugs,” said Castriciones./PN





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