Ilonggo militants welcome Duterte’s announcement but reminds him to address root cause of poverty

ILOILO City – The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) – Western Visayas welcomes the fearless announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte naming local executives, judges and PNP officers allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade in the region.

The illegal drugs problem and its pernicious influence on the Ilonggo society and politics is present and a real danger in the region. The previous “Daang Matuwid” Liberal Party administration and its local leaders tried to cover up this problem with the stupid reasoning that it is “bad” for the image of Iloilo.

When Boyet Odicta a.k.a. “Dragon” (a leading drug lord suspect according to PDEA) attempted to raid Aksyon Radyo (which was very vocal in campaigning against illegal drugs) on November 19, 2015, leading incumbent LP executives and Sen. Drilon looked the other way. Mayor Mabilog did not lift a finger to solve the crime and prosecute the suspects who were clearly recorded in the CCTV of the radio station. Similarly, the PNP foot-dragged in solving the case. Sen. Drilon opposed the Senate inquiry led by Sen. Poe on the incident to be conducted.

Their actuation further fanned public suspicion that incumbent LP officials and PNP officers are allowing the impunity of the drug lords in Iloilo City.

Though BAYAN welcomes President Duterte’s the identification of alleged narco-protectors, it is now incumbent on the President to prove the guilt of the accused, considering the enormous negative publicity that the latter suffered. He should prosecute those with established probable cause in the courts and/or administrative bodies.

Mr. Jeffry Celiz has the habit of using his previous affiliation with BAYAN, when it suits him. He is not anymore connected with BAYAN since 2005. When he resurfaced in 2007, he became Mayor Mabilog’s main apologist and often conspired against the people. Lately, there are confirmed reports that he is hired by Boyet Odicta a.k.a “Dragon” the foremost alleged drug lord of Iloilo.

President Duterte should be reminded that it takes more than police action and shame campaign to solve the pervasive illegal drugs problem.

The social roots of poverty should be addressed. As long as majority of our people are poor, illegal drugs is an appealing escape from reality and an easy source of income.

There should be no let-up in weeding the military, police and civilian bureaucracy of narco-protectors.

President Duterte should likewise stop the impunity of extra-judicial killings in its campaign against illegal drugs./PT

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