WHILE the Singson drug case in Hong Kong may affect the country's image, a Palace official is confident the popularity and good reputation of President Benigno Aquino III could overshadow the incident.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma said Representative Ronald Singson (first district, Ilocos Sur) is just one of the more than 300 incumbent congressmen with commendable leadership records.

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Singson was arrested at the Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport last July 11 for possession of 26.1 grams of cocaine and two tablets of valium.

“Baka naman kalabisan kung iisipin na single incident na meron mabigat na epekto sa kredibilidad at image as a nation. Hindi makakaila na nakakasira rin iyan, pero sa palagay ko, iyung overall effect, it won’t be as significant,” he said.

Coloma added the Aquino administration also has an anti-drug abuse policy that will ensure a stricter implementation of the law.

“Higpitan ang law enforcement diyan, sa palagay ko pagtuunan ng pansin na mapahusay iyung enforcement of applicable laws tungkol sa ipinagbabawal na drugs,” he said.

Singson posts bail

A Hong Kong court granted a HK$1-million bail for Singson's temporary liberty.

Representative Romero Quimbo (second district, Marikina), vice chairman of the House justice committee, confirmed it after attending the hearing Thursday.

Quimbo is part of the fact-finding team, together with lawyer Leonardo Palicte III of the House legal affairs, sent by the House of Representatives to Hong Kong to gather information on the trial of Singson.

Singson's father, Ilocos Sur Governor Luis Singson, and his rumored girlfriend, actress Lovi Poe also attended the hearing.

A television report said two businessmen, Annie Shie and Derrick Wong, will pay the HK$500,000 surety bond.

Although Singson was granted temporary freedom by the court, the lawmaker will not be allowed to leave Hong Kong and will have to report to a police station every day. Singson's arraignment is set on September 7.

Quimbo said he will report to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte the actions of the Hong Kong court on Singson's case to decide whether to submit the matter to the House ethics committee.

“The Speaker is very much concerned about the reputation of the House,” Quimbo added.

Belmonte earlier said they "will continue to monitor and await developments" while the case is still pending. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)