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House won’t protect lawmakers on narco list

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 273

THE House leadership vowed not to coddle lawmakers involved in illegal drugs and instead urged them to prove their innocence.

Speaking in a weekly press briefing, Deputy Speaker Eric Singson said Pangasinan Rep. Jesus “Boying” Celeste can go to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to clear his name.

Celeste is on the list of alleged narco-politicians bared by President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend.

“His name was included. I think he knows what to do. Punta siya kay Speaker Alvarez and clean his name,” Singson said.

Singson said they cannot help Celeste as they don’t know his problem or the magnitude of his involvement, if any, in illegal drugs.
    
Meanwhile, the House leader said, if there is any complaint against Celeste, the Ethics Committee can address it.
    
In a related story, Deputy Speaker Romero Quimbo proposed a drug test for all members of the House to determine who are really involved in illegal drugs, before the President names them.
    
Based on the list read by Duterte, at least three lawmakers were named – Celeste, former Surigao del Norte Rep. Guillermo Romarate Jr. and a Jeffrey Celis identified as a party-list solon.
    
However Celis was reportedly not a party-list solon but an official of the militant group Bayan.
    
“Congress should take the first step. Dapat ma-drug test lahat. Dapat walang addict sa Congress,” Quimbo said.
 
While taking the drug test is a personal decision of the lawmakers, another Deputy Speaker, Mercedes Alvarez, said they will propose to Speaker Alvarez to make it a mandatory and surprise test.
    
Last week Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves Jr. admitted he was once a drug addict but underwent rehabilitation 16 years ago.