Palace: Duterte’s claim on Halili’s drug link was mere ‘suspicion’
The remark of President Rodrigo Duterte linking slain Tanauan City mayor Antonio Halili to the drug trade was just a suspicion, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president “qualified it [his remark] as a suspicion.”
Roque also assured that the president’s words will not affect the investigation into the mayor’s murder during the city hall’s flag ceremony on Monday.
In a speech on Monday, Duterte said he had warned Halili not to get involved in illegal drugs.
“He pretends that the illegal drug problem is getting worse; he pretends to parade the drug addicts. He was killed earlier. I don’t know who killed him. I said not to get involved in illegal drugs,” the President said.
However, Roque said, “I can only quote what he said it’s a ‘suspicion.”
In a television interview, the daughter of Halili denied that his father was into illegal drugs, saying his “father would rather die than be a drug lord.”
The Presidential Spokesperson also mentioned that Malacañang was alarmed with the killing of Halili.
“Despite the suspicion of the President – is that of course we are alarmed, because killings of this nature should not be happening,” Roque said.
“We are alarmed at is the fact that it was broad daylight and in such a public manner,” he added.
No effect on investigation
Roque also dismissed concerns that Duterte’s remarks could affect public perception about Halili and the investigation into his death.
“Tingin ko po hindi dahil sinabi nga niya suspetsa lang,” Roque said, adding that justice would be served.
“We share the alarm and that’s why we have promised that we will leave no stones unturned in the investigation,” Roque said. /vvp
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.