‘I am still alive’–PDEA Usec. GutierrezBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines–Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez Jr., denied rumors circulating through text messages that he has died.
“I am very much alive and strong,” Gutierrez said in a statement released Tuesday.
“The hoax was deliberately done in order to add more fuel to the controversies hounding the agency,” he said.
Gutierrez disclosed that false rumors about his death are nothing new to him since he previously had cancer.
“This is not new to me. I have gone through the edge of death and barely survived. But this time, my supposed ‘death’ was made with malicious intent to mislead everyone,” Gutierrez said.
The rumors that there had almost been a shootout inside his office were also not true, he said.
It was reported that members of the PDEA Special Enforcement Services and PDEA agents were involved in a standoff within Gutierrez’s office over an alleged P8-million extortion case.
Gutierrez said that the rumors are part of a “smear campaign” against him aimed at “destroying PDEA as an institution at the forefront of the national anti-drug campaign.”