Certified clean! Mabilog cleared from list of suspected protectors of illegal drugs

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Iloilo Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, one of the so-called “narco-politicians” as tagged by no less than President Rodrigo R. Duterte, has been cleared from the list of suspected protectors of illegal drugs.

Both the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Iloilo City and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) cleared Mabilog and other officials from alleged personalities linked to the illegal drug trade in the province.

“On the part of PDEA, no one from the city level is included in our list,” PDEA-6 Regional Director Gil Pabilona said.

Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) director Senior Supt. Remus Zacharias Canieso also confirmed that only barangay chairmen and kagawads are included in their watch list.

“On the prepared watch list or the watch list of the PNP, there are identified personalities especially elected officials in the barangays and their village councilors who are in the watch list. For the city level, there is none, only in the barangay,” said Canieso.

Both Canieso and Pabilona lauded the anti-illegal drugs campaign of Mabilog, saying that they received enough support from the city government in their thrust to eradicate illegal drugs.

“On the part of the ICPO, the support of the City Government is enough to sustain and to push through the operations against illegal drugs,” Canieso said.

Over the past year, Iloilo has been tagged by Duterte as being a bedrock of illegal drugs in the country, at one point even calling it the “most shabulized” province in the Philippines.

Duterte previously tagged Mabilog and three other mayors in the province of supposedly being coddlers of illegal drugs. Among those tagged were Mariano Malones of Maasin, Sigfriedo Betita or Carles, and Alex Centena of Calinog.

Duterte lost in Iloilo in the 2016 presidential elections.