3 local execs ask NBI to probe tabloid linking them to drugs
COTABATO CITY – Three local government executives have sought the services of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to uncover personalities behind two publications linking them to the illegal drug trade.
Reelected City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. and his sister, Vice Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, were placed in bad light this week when Cotta Bato Post, a monthly tabloid without office address and editorial box, came out with a banner story headline asking incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate their alleged involvement in the illegal drug proliferation in the city.
Like them, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu wants to unmask the unnamed social media blogger hiding under the pseudonym account of a certain Bai Utto, posting stories describing the reelected chief executive as actively involved in the illegal drug trade in the province.
“We feel the blogger is fictitious; that’s why we seek the help of the NBI,” Mangudadatu said.
Lawyer Esraelito Torreon hoped the NBI findings would lead the provincial government’s legal team to unmask the blogger and file libel and other appropriate charges under the Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2002.
Duterte has declared war on corruption and major crimes, particularly the illegal drug trade.
Duterte has repeatedly warned he will run after drug lords and their so-called protectors in government without fear or favor.
Sayadi, a lawyer and currently local chapter president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, said her brother-mayor has had several meetings on anti-drug and crime partnership with the Davao City mayor even prior to his being elected as the 16th President of the Republic.
Guiani claimed to have informed Duterte that as elected mayor of this city from 2010 to the present the peace and order situation has greatly improved as shown from the influx of domestic and foreign investors.
Guiani bragged about the rise of commercial structures and several shopping malls, including SM, which has been scheduled for a September opening.
“Our problem now is traffic congestion, a clear indication that more and more people feel safe and secured while in the city. And with this promising outlook, why would we allow trading of illegal drugs in the city?” Guiani asked. SFM
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