I'M NOT hooked on drugs.

Thus responded Gusa Barangay Chairman Enrico Salcedo on allegations that he is using illegal drugs, branding these as "political harassment."

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His accuser is Vice Mayor Vicente Emano (PaDayon-PMP), who for days now has repeatedly alluded to his former supporter as a drug user.

Last Sunday, Vice Mayor Emano-a mayoral candidate-repeated that allegation over an FM station where he maintains a weekly radio program.

Salcedo said this was Emano's way of "conditioning the mind of the people" as a prelude of harassing him.

"I think he is engaged in what we call mind-conditioning. So that when he does something like having policemen in his payroll stage a raid in my residence, they can easily plant evidence," said the barangay official, who is de facto spokesman for one for Emano's rivals in the mayoral race Representative Rolando Uy of Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

He attributed the vice mayor's accusations to his "constant criticisms" of him.

Salcedo launched an unsuccessful City Council bid in 2007 under Emano's party.

The two had a falling out immediately after the elections.

The barangay official said he never expected to be the receiving end of Emano's "wrath," noting that he is not a candidate to the 2010 elections.

Salcedo had enraged several administration officials lately after suggesting that the kidnapping incident involving a family member of one their candidates in the City Council was masterminded by their political opponents.

The obvious reference has called the attention of Mayor Constantino Jaraula, who advised Salcedo not to point fingers if he had no basis.

Emano has declined an interview for this story. (ALR)