Antique vice mayor in narco-list says he is not into drugs
ILOILO CITY — “Why am I being subjected to this injustice? If they have proof, why don’t they file a criminal complaint?”
This was the reaction of Vice Mayor Ariel Alagos of Culasi town in Antique after he was included in the so-called list of President Duterte of alleged narco-politicians.
“I do not know why my name is there. You can ask people here, except my political rivals, and they will vouch that I have no involvement in illegal drugs,” Alagos told the INQUIRER.
Alagos, who is in his third term as vice mayor, is running for mayor in the May 13 elections under the National Unity Party.
He said politics could be behind the inclusion of his name in the list.
He admitted that a younger brother was subjected to “Oplan Tokhang,” a campaign where policemen knocked on the homes of drug personalities and asked them to surrender.
“I do not have any involvement in drugs. I’m a civil engineer from humble beginnings who became a construction contractor and dealer of beverages,” Alagos told the INQUIRER in Hiligaynon.
Alagos is among five officials from Western Visayas included in the list.
The four others were already named by the President in August 2016 and have repeatedly denied involvement in illegal drugs.
These were former mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog (Iloilo City), Mayors Salagunting Betita (Carles, Iloilo), Mariano Malones (Maasin, Iloilo) and Julius Pacificador (Hamtic, Antique).
Mabilog left the country and his family in August 2017 and have not returned since due to security concerns.
The Ombudsman dismissed Mabilog from service in October 2017 last year over unexplained wealth.
But no drug-related case has been filed against him and the three other mayors nearly three years after they were publicly accused by the President.
Malones is one of two Iloilo mayors included in the 2016 list who joined the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Mayor Alex Centena of Calinog town in Iloilo also joined the PDP-Laban and is not in the latest list.
In January 2018, then-presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had said that the two mayors were “cleared” from the drug list before they joined the ruling party.
In July 2017, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency declared Maasin town in Iloilo drug-free.
The Dangerous Drugs Board considers villages as drug-free if supply of illegal drugs, transit or transshipment activities, drug laboratories, and warehouses, drug dens, marijuana cultivation sites, users and pushers, drug protectors, coddlers, and financiers are absent.
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