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Monday, May 20, 2019
CEBU

Editorial: Back in the limelight

Editorial cartoon by Josua S. Cabrera

DID the whole nation drop everything when President Rodrigo Duterte bared the recent list of politicians who allegedly had links to the illegal drug trade last Thursday night, March 14?

Maybe not.

The announcement did coincide with a popular, long-running series that has an immortal do-gooder for a protagonist.

But Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot and San Fernando Vice Mayor Fralz Sabalones must have been glued to their TV sets with bated breath, anxious if the President would once again call their names.

Unfortunately for them, the President did.

Maybe the two officials had known all along what the outcome would be and didn’t bother to watch the President’s command conference in Davao City.

Not much has been heard of Sabalones, brother of self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones, since Duterte linked him to narco-politics in 2016. He hasn’t been seen since then.

As for Loot, he returned from an extended vacation abroad last January. He is taking a hiatus from politics, giving way to his stepson to run in his place in the midterm elections in May. He was forced into hiding last year after receiving threats from the Palace over his alleged involvement as a protector of illegal drug activities during his stint as a police general.

Loot and Sabalones were the only politicians from Cebu named last Thursday.

They were included in the administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public official and gross neglect of duty that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed against 46 incumbent politicians.

According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, “the involvement of the respondents to illegal drugs was evaluated and judiciously validated by the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs chaired by Pdea (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) in coordination with the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, among others.”

One name was conspicuous by its absence, but it might be best to wait until the President was done revealing the names on the list before celebrating.


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