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Bacolod VM, council hands off on narco-councilor

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BACOLOD CITY — Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said the Bacolod City Council has decided to let law enforcement agencies handle the drug charges against Councilor Ricardo Tan.

“Let’s leave it to the law enforcement agencies. I’m hoping that Councilor Ricardo Tan can defend himself together with his family,” the vice mayor said at the sidelines of the peace covenant signing for the May 13 elections at the Bacolod public plaza on Sunday.

Tan, who is not seeking an elective post in the coming elections, was linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to illegal drugs during his talk before an audience at the birthday party of a local businessman here on Saturday night, according to Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, director of Police Regional Office-6 (Western Visayas).

“There’s a public official, he completely stated his name, si Cano Tan. Hindi ko siya kilala pero na recall ko ito pala ‘yung in-ambush diyan. (I’m not acquainted with him but I recalled he was the one who was ambushed in Bacolod (last month),” Bulalacao said in a radio interview.

Familiaran said the President’s pronouncement regarding the city’s number one councilor was a “shocking revelation.” “We didn’t expect that,” he added.

Tan and his wife Anita survived an assassination attempt while they were on their way home from the family-owned Campuestohan Highland Resort situated at the boundary of Bacolod City and Talisay City last December 14.

At least three unidentified assailants fired at the couple’s Nissan Patrol vehicle but the two fortunately only sustained abrasions.

Familiaran said that Tan has not attended a session of the City Council since the ambush happened.

“Every session he files a leave. Our councilors are only required to attend the sessions,” the vice mayor said, adding that if a council member has leave credits, he or she is allowed to file either a vacation or sick leave. (PNA)