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Mayor denies links to drug trade

/ 12:39 AM July 11, 2016

LUCENA CITY—Mayor Roderick Alcala of this city has denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade in Quezon province, saying reports alleging he has taken over a relative’s operation were “evil and malicious.”

“My only sin, if it’s a sin, is I have a close relative who has links to the illegal drug trade. I can choose my friends but I can’t choose my relatives,” Alcala said.

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The mayor was referring to allegations published in another newspaper that he was running the illegal drugs distribution business of his uncle, Cerilo “Athel” Alcala, one of Lucena City’s suspected big-time drug pushers.

“When I started my government service as SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) leader, I already stated my firm stance against the evil of illegal drugs. That remains my guiding principle as city mayor,” Alcala said in a telephone interview on Sunday.

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He said the allegation was concocted by his and the Alcala clan’s detractors.

“Definitely I will consult my lawyers and file appropriate charges against all responsible [for the publication of] the story,” he said.

The report, he said, affected his family, especially his children.

“When I made a vow to the citizens of Lucena and my own family that I will be a good and honest leader, [I made sure] that commitment will stand until my last breath,” he said.

Alcala said that at the start of his term as mayor, he ordered the police to stop the illegal drug problem in the city and arrest all those involved behind the proliferation of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride).

“There is no sacred cow in my war against illegal drugs. Not even my relatives,” he said.

Cerilo, younger brother of former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, was arrested by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives in a raid in the ancestral house of the Alcalas in Barangay Cotta here in 2008. Cerilo, however, had been released several years ago.

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But Supt. Dennis de Leon, Lucena police chief, said Cerilo remains among the high value targets in the local police’s drug watch list.

“We’re just waiting for his surrender,” De Leon said.

The Alcala family is one of Quezon’s biggest political clans.

Mayor Alcala’s grandfather, Anacleto, was former Quezon governor who served the province for more than two decades during the administration of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Anacleto’s late older brother, Eming, was a former board member and Lucena councilor. Eming is the father of Proceso and reelected Quezon Rep. Vicente Alcala. Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon

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TAGS: Alcala, Drugs, Illegal drugs, lucena, mayor, Roderick Alcala
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