ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan vehemently protested his inclusion in a list released by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) of local officials stripped of police control because of alleged involvement in drugs.
"It is an utterly absurd charge, and I challenge the Napolcom to immediately file charges against me if it has an iota of evidence that I am involved in drugs," Pamintuan said.
"I have met and talked with President (Rodrigo) Duterte in many occasions, the latest was about two weeks ago in Malacañang. Knowing him, he would have told me straight on the face if I were in his list of local officials supposedly into drugs, like he did to other mayors linked to drugs," Pamintuan said.
Pamintuan, who is also president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), said the Napolcom has not only damaged his reputation and that of his city but also put him in danger.
At least two mayors in the President's drug list were earlier killed in alleged police encounters.
"Even as I challenge the Napolcom to walk it's talk and file charges against me instead of just maligning me, I call on the agency to be cautious and more circumspect in pointing at anybody supposedly into illegal drug trade, without evidence. Napolcom is an investigative body, it should know the law," he said.
As president of the LCP, Pamintuan said he just personally submitted to the President an accomplishment report of LCP members detailing their anti-drug programs.
He said that when he submitted the report, the President should have told him directly if he were indeed suspected of involvement in illegal drugs.
He said that he will again seek an audience with the President after the Asean summit to clear his name.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on November 10, 2017.
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