Digong chides 1,400 mayors: Heed warning
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte confronted the country’s 1,400 mayors Wednesday and chided them for letting illegal drugs into their communities.
After warning those involved in the illegal drug trade to resign or die, Duterte addressed the local chief executives who were bused in from the Philippine International Convention Center to Malacañan Palace.
Duterte spoke to mayors in two batches—the first were mayors from the Visayas and Mindanao, the second batch was made up mostly of Luzon mayors.
Various sources who were present during the meetings said the President focused on two topics—the proliferation of illegal drugs and pervasive corruption.
“It was just the President giving advice, he was just setting the direction ... resolving issues in governance,” one official said.
Another source said that Duterte reminded mayors not to get involved in the illegal drug trade.
He said those proven to be involved in drugs would lose their supervisory powers over the police and would have their security withdrawn.
“If there’s a shabu business in your city, that means you are not working,” one source said.
Another source said the President touched on relevant issues pertaining to security, particularly in Mindanao.
It was not clear, however, if the President named mayors who were in his so-called narco-list, which reportedly included the names of congressmen, mayors, barangay captains, policemen, judges and other officials.
Unlike other events, no advisories were issued to confirm the President’s attendance at the event. Reporters were also barred from covering the event.
A House leader said mayors involved in illegal drugs should not take Duterte’s warnings lightly.
“All the guilty mayors must heed to the call of the President or else they might suffer the consequences. Our President is dead serious on his anti-illegal drug war,” said Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers.
Barbers also dared President Duterte to divulge the names of mayors allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade to compel them to relinquish their posts.
“I think the President has to name those in his list. I am pretty sure that those involved are not only mayors but also vice mayors,” Barbers added. With Maricel V. Cruz