Iloilo town now free of illegal drugs
ILOILO CITY—The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has declared as drug free a town in Iloilo province whose mayor President Duterte earlier linked to illegal drugs.
In a recent ceremony led by Mayor Mariano Malones, PDEA cited Maasin town, about 31 kilometers northwest of this city, for its success in the fight against illegal drugs.
The President, in August last year, named Malones among mayors in Iloilo who were allegedly protecting the illegal drug trade. Mr Duterte also linked Mayors Alex Centena of Calinog, Salagunting Betita of Carles and Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo City and some former councilors and ranking police officials to the drug trade. They denied the allegations.
But nearly a year after Mr. Duterte’s public accusations, no criminal or administrative complaint had been filed against the mayors and other local officials.
Malones said he met with President Duterte in Davao City last year to clear his name.
“[The President] told me to help in clearing our town of illegal drugs so I worked hard to clear my name,” Malones told the Inquirer.
The Dangerous Drugs Board considers villages as drug-free if supply of illegal drugs, transit or transshipment activities, drug laboratories and warehouses, drug dens, marijuana cultivation sites, users and pushers, drug protectors, coddlers and financiers are absent.
Malones said 18 of his town’s 50 villages were previously classified as “drug-affected.”
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