The Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) said Monday is alarmed by the recent claims by vice presidential candidate Walden Bello about Davao City being a trading center of illegal drugs in the South.
“HNP takes this information seriously as a regional party with incumbent elected official members who want to strengthen our coordination with law enforcement agencies fighting the proliferation of prohibited drugs,” the HNP said in a statement late Monday.
HNP’s chairperson is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Bello’s rival for vice president.
Based on the claims made by Bello during the Comelec-sponsored vice presidential debates on March 20, the HNP said “it is apparent that he holds information about the illegal drugs in Davao but deliberately kept it from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police.”
“It can be said that Mr. Bello is a narcopolitician in a way that he withheld information crucial in the government’s anti-drug campaign,” the regional party said.
“Because of this, HNP has already requested for an investigation into the extent of Mr. Bello’s knowledge and involvement in the illegal drug trade in Davao City,” the HNP added.
“As a Vice Presidential candidate in a narcopolitics, as someone who knowingly and purposely refused to disclose information or cooperate with the authorities, Mr. Bello has just presented himself as a danger to peace and order and a threat to the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the government,” the party said.