By: Elena Grace Flores
Drilon issued a statement saying: “I strongly support President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign but due process and the rule of law must be dutifully upheld.” “I urge the President that if there is evidence that these officials were involved in the drug trade, he should immediately charge them administratively or in court,” as a close relative was among those who were named by the foul-mouthed Duterte as illegal drugs trade protector.
Drilon however stressed that “there should be no shortcuts.” “Charges must be filed if evidence warrants it, so that the accused will be given the opportunity to defend themselves and clear their names. Let the chips fall where they may,” he expounded.
Duterte read out a list of judges, mayors, congressmen, and both retired and active police plus the dead and innocent officers allegedly involved in drug trade. President Duterte was not even sure of the list; “it might be true, it might not be true” that the more than 150 personalities he named were linked to drugs, but he cannot instill due process into his own mouth. He admitted publicly that his “mouth has no due process” – then added that his mouth do not have a system and an attorney. It just blurts out what he wants to say even if it accused other personalities wrongly.
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, a second cousin of Drilon and has denied the allegation. “Whatever these officials may have allegedly done are their individual acts, and cannot be the collective guilt of the Ilongos,” Drilon explained the unfair result of the President’s disclosure before investigating the involvement as the Ilongos’ are now assumed as conniving with the illegal trade.
Other Ilongos named by Duterte are: Iloilo are Mayors Sigfredo Betita of Carles, Alex Centena of Calinog, and Mariano Malones of Maasin; Judge Savillo of Regional Trial Court Branch 13; Vice Mayor Francis Ansing Amboy of Maasin; Attorney Antonio Pesina; and Erwin “Tongtong” Plagata.