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Tanauan mayor says politics behind report linking him to drugs

  • Written by Camille P. Balagtas
  • Published in Provincial
  • Read: 328

Tanauan City Mayor Antonio C. Halili yesterday strongly denied alleged involvement in illegal drugs
and sought for a thorough investigation of the intelligence report which he claimed was fabricated by
those affected by his successful campaign against illegal drugs in his city.

Mayor Halili decided to break his silence over the issue after he was stripped of his police
power by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) in a resolution, based on the raw intelligence
report submitted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
    
Aside from Mayor Halili, more than 20 local chief executives nationwide were also stripped of
their administrative control over the local police based on the Napolcom resolution dated October 30.
    
“I am ready to pay one million pesos to this police intelligence officer behind this report
linking me to illegal drugs and I will resign as mayor if this report can be supported by evidence,” a
visibly irked Halili told a media forum in Cafe Adriatico in Malate, Manila.
    
Based on the questionable intel report, Halili and San Rafael, Bulacan Mayor Goto Violago were
allegedly conspiring and planning to establish and expand illegal drug trade in Central Luzon and
Batangas provinces.
    
In defending himself, Halili said he should have been exonerated by the DILG since Mayor
Violago has already been cleared by the PNP over his alleged illegal drug connection, the reason why
his name was not included in the October 30 Napolcom Resolution. Halili further maintained that he
does not personally know Mayor Violago.
    
Mayor Halili said he is willing to be grilled by anyone, including the media and the Napolcom,
just to prove his innocence from all the allegations which he claimed was politically motivated.
    
Halili pointed to a senior PNP officer whom he refused to identify at the moment, as the one
behind the effort linking him to the illegal drug trade in order to malign his name and eventually
unseat him as Tanauan City mayor.
    
The mayor stressed the allegations were grossly unfair and baseless, pointing out claiming
that no less than Ms. Marissa Canta Marasigan, the city’s local government officer (CLGO) and two
former Tanauan City police chiefs  endorsed and supported all his programs and campaign against
criminality including illegal drugs.
    
As a result of his massive campaign against illegal drugs, many drug pushers shifted their
operation to Lipa City.
    
Both former police chiefs, Supt. Roberto Baesa and his successor Supt. Audie Madrideo, were
relieved for still unknown reasons after submitting reports indicating support to the anti-drug drive
of Mayor Halili. Supt. Madrideo was relieved only two weeks ago and replaced by Supt. Renato Mercado.
    
Based on the information submitted to higher  authorities by  Supt.  Madrideo, Mayor Halili
immediately launched an all out war against illegal drugs in the city when he served his first term as
mayor in 2013.
    
Mayor Halili initiated a localized “Tokhang” in 2013 by mobilizing and utilizing the city’s
different Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN), gathering information on all suspected drug users and
pushers operating within their respective barangays.
    
It was Mayor Halili who also initiated the controversial “walk of shame campaign” wherein
arrested drug users and pushers were paraded in the streets as part of efforts to eradicate illegal
drugs.
    
Amid complaints and investigations made by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Mayor Halili
defended the walk of shame campaign  stressing this is his way of informing the people of the city’s
undesirables. Several incidents of walk of shame  were recorded from February 2014 to February 2017.
    
Madrideo noted that accomplishments in the campaign against illegal drugs could not have been
achieved without the support extended by Mayor Halili who had given additional funds and incentives
for the successful conduct of more police operations against high profile drug personalities.