Slain Los Baños mayor got death threats after narcolist inclusion – town exec
MANILA, Philippines — Los Baños, Laguna town Mayor Caesar Perez received death threats after being included in the Duterte administration’s “narcolist” or the list of public officials allegedly involved in the drug trade, a municipal official said Friday.
According to Municipal Administrator Robert Laviña, Perez was accused of having links with the drug trade but the latter shrugged off such accusations as he believes he has nothing to prove.
“As far as I know po, ‘yong mga ipinakita niya sa akin in confidence na mga messages sa kanyang cellphone, do’n po talaga nagsimulang ano, araw-arawin siya na nakakatanggap siya ng kung ano-anong pananakot, nando’n na nga po kasama na ‘yong threat sa kanyang buhay,” Laviña told reporters.
(As far as I know, based on the messages on his cellphone that he showed, the almost daily threats came after he was included in the narcolist, that was when he started receiving various threats including threats on his life.)
“So ‘don po nagsimula, no’ng siya ay nadawit o idinawit do’n nga tinatawag na narcolist […] Di ba po lumabas ‘yong narcolist even before, I think prior to ‘yong elections no’ng 2019,” he added.
(So that’s where the threats originated, after he was included in the so-called narcolist. It came out in 2019, I think prior to the elections of 2019.)
Laviña, who has been with the city government for almost two years but knew Perez since their childhood days, noted that the slain local chief executive did not bother having an enhanced security detail because he was not comfortable with it.
The municipal administrator added that even city employees volunteered to watch over the mayor after the death threats, but Perez would have none of it.
“Siya na rin ang nagsabi na ‘walang reason para ako ay matakot at magkaroon ng gano’n ka-strict na security,” Laviña added.
(He himself said that there is no reason for him to fear and to have an overly strict security detail.)
Initial reports on Thursday indicated that Perez was walking back to the town hall’s receiving area from a nearby public spa around 8:45 p.m. when a gunman shot him twice in the head. Responders brought Perez to a nearby hospital but the mayor died while being treated.
Ahead of the 2019 elections, President Rodrigo Duterte warned voters about alleged narco-politicians in their respective areas, mentioning 46 names in his list.
Perez was one of the names given out by Duterte.
Aside from death threats on Perez due to his inclusion in the narcolist, Laviña admitted that the late mayor also had brushes with political rivals and detractors.
“Meron po, actually ‘yan po ay isa namang nakabunyag na impormasyon na sa kanya po ay maraming nagagalit, lalo na po ‘yong may mga personal na galit, at meron din pong mga kalaban sa pulitika,” Laviña said.
(He has other opponents, information that a lot of people are mad at him is actually an open secret, especially those with personal grudges and there are also political opponents.)
“At alam naman po natin na siya ay nali-link, sabi, ay kasama do’n sa narcolist na inilabas ng atin pong Pangulo Duterte. So ‘yan po ay lahat na kino-consider niya as mga threats,” he added.
(And we also know that he was linked, they said he was a part of the narcolist that President Duterte released. So that’s what he was considering as threats.)
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.