Drilon denies drug links, says no proof vs 2nd cousin Iloilo mayor
Sen. Franklin Drilon on Tuesday denied rumors linking him to the illegal drug trade for being the second cousin of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who was earlier tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte in his narcolist.
In an INQ&A interview, Drilon said he had no opportunity to talk to Mabilog regarding the accusations being hurled against him, but expressed confidence that his second cousin was not involved in drugs.
“Wala pong pruwebang ipinakita na si Mayor Mabilog ay involved sa droga… You need not be a lawyer to understand that logic he who alleges should prove the accusation,” Drilon said.
“Up to now walang ebidensya, in fairness naman. With the social media today, kung sasabihin mong ang tao ay may pagkukulang lalo na sa ganitong maselan na bagay, sana naman may matibay na ebidensya,” he added.
Mabilog was among the local executives, policemen, judges and other personalities named by Duterte as allegedly involved in illegal drugs, but the mayor, who is serving his third and last term, has repeatedly denied the accusation.
Since the President named Mabilog in the narcolist, photos of the mayor’s so-called White House in Iloilo went viral on the internet and has become the subject of scrutiny by those probing his assets. The property was cited in the criminal and administrative charges filed before the Ombudsman and the Office of the President against Mabilog for supposed unexplained wealth.
Last week, alleged top drug lord Kerwin Espinosa reportedly told “jueteng” whistleblower Sandra Cam that at least two senators were involved in illegal drug trade, with one allegedly receiving a total of P5.7 million from the latter. Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday said Espinosa identified Sen. Leila de Lima as of the two senators, who allegedly received P8 million “protection money” from Espinosa.
De Lima is being accused of coddling drug lords and benefiting from drug money at the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as secretary of the Department of Justice, but the senator has vehemently denied the accusations.
Amid the rising death toll in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, Drilon said it cannot be denied that there is a serious drug problem in the country, but maintained that killings are not the way to go.
“There is a drug problem. I’m not prepared to say it is exaggerated because I haven’t really examined the evidence. I dint have in my possession the information to make that kind of statement. But certainly I do not find killing as a way of solving the problem,” he said.
“It’s a question of what kind of policies or remedy should be adopted to solve this problem,” he added.
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