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‘Druggie’ QC councilor’s identity remains a secret

By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 12:34 AM August 09, 2016

THE IDENTITY of the Quezon City councilor who tested positive for both marijuana and “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) last week remains a mystery as the city’s top executives both seem reluctant to expose the official.

On Monday, Mayor Herbert Bautista told reporters that he still did not know who the councilor was, contradicting Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte’s statement that as early as Thursday, he had been informed of the councilor’s identity.

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“The official report is not with me. I really don’t know [who the councilor is],” Bautista said as he added that the person concerned should voluntarily undergo rehabilitation.

Talk turns to brother

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“If he’s my sibling, he should be rehabilitated,” he told reporters who asked him why he mentioned his brother, Hero Bautista.

“He has just been elected councilor [of the fourth district]. Maybe it’s him, we do not know,” was the mayor’s reply.

In a subsequent interview, Belmonte said she had transmitted to Bautista the confirmatory results done by the Department of Health on Friday evening. However, because of a provision in Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 protecting a drug user’s identity, Belmonte said she could not reveal the councilor’s name or confirm the gender.

While talking to reporters, however, she often referred to the councilor as a “he.” Later asked to confirm whether the official concerned was male, she replied: “Oh, I made a slip.”

“[They’re] not considered criminals, more like victims, so we have to protect their rights,” Belmonte said.

While her position appears to be contrary to President Duterte’s style of publicly shaming politicians believed to be involved in illegal drugs, Belmonte pointed out that there was a difference as the councilor was not accused of being a drug lord coddler.

Another test

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According to her, the councilor was expected to take another drug test this week. She noted that when she called up the official after Bautista told her to handle the matter, the councilor said “he felt that the results were erroneous and that they were not valid. That was his reason.”

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