Lacson says Halili may have been into jueteng but not illegal drugs
Slain Tanauan Mayor Antonio Halili might have been involved in jueteng, but not in illegal drugs, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Thursday.
Lacson disclosed that Halili, who was gunned down last Monday, was his “longtime friend.
The senator said he would not have visited the mayor’s family on Wednesday if he had an iota of doubt that Halili was involved in the illegal drug trade.
“I’ll be the last person na bibisita dun. But then he was a long-time friend, nasa serbisyo pa lang ako. I think i was still a captain when we started knowing each other and getting acquainted, and since then wala naman talaga akong nakitang posibilidad na ma-involve sya sa droga,” he said.
“He was not a saint nor an angel, that much I can say. Pero involvement sa drugs, I can, at least with the limited network that I also have, e alam ko wala sya na involvement.”
When Halili’s name appeared in the so-called “narco-list,” Lacson said he also asked his sources but there was no confirmation of the mayor’s alleged links with illegal drugs.
The senator said it was Halili’s “misfortune” that his name was included in the narco list.
“And to me, I think that’s the cruelest eulogy that you can offer to any dead person,” Lacson said.
Hours after Halili’s assassination, President Rodrigo Duterte himself voiced his own suspicions that the killing had something to do with illegal drugs.
“I heard that Halili died. But I suspect that it’s related to drugs. Just a suspicion,” the President said in a speech.
Lacson admitted however that the slain mayor was involved in gambling, particularly jueteng.
“Alam ko na-involved din siya sa gambling. That I can attest even ngayon,” he said.
When he was the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Lacson said, Halili respected his stand against illegal gambling.
“I don’t know if he stopped already. At least nung Chief PNP ako, alam ko nagpapalaro sya,” the senator said. /muf
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