Mayor’s arrest proves Duterte’s right – Palace
The surrender of Mayor Aniceto Lopez Jr. of Maasim town in Sarangani province, proved President Rodrigo Duterte’s assertion that the illegal drug trade has infiltrated local politics, Malacañang said on Saturday.
Lopez surrendered to Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Friday, hours after a raid on the mayor’s home reportedly yielded P5 million worth of suspected “shabu” (crystal meth), a mini shabu laboratory and firearms.
“The surrender of Maasim, Sarangani Mayor Aniceto Lopez Jr. underscores how deeply entrenched narcopolitics is in the country,” said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
Abella also said the drugs and paraphernalia found in Lopez’s home “proves the administration’s claim that illegal drugs and corruption have captured local politics.”
He called on citizens and church officials to support Mr. Duterte’s campaign to dismantle the illegal narcotics trade.
“Progress against illegal drugs largely depends on the full support and cooperation of everyone from the citizens to the church and communities,” he said.
Thousands of drug suspects have died in the administration’s war on drugs, drawing condemnation and concern from various sectors. —Leila B. Salaverria
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