Supporters rally behind Iloilo mayor

SUPPORTERS of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog trooped to City Hall Monday, August 9, carrying placards of support vouching for his innocence against accusations that he is involved in the illegal drug trade.

The Liga ng mga Barangay in the city, composed of 180 barangays, led a rally in front of City Hall, asking President Rodrigo Duterte to give the mayor "a speedy trial to vindicate himself from all this accusation."

On Saturday morning, Duterte announced the names who were behind the illegal drug trade in the country.

But in a statement, Liga ng Barangay (League of Barangays) president Reyland Hervias said Mabilog is clean and innocent.

"There is no truth that the mayor is (a) drug protector. We have seen how he worked hard for the progress of the city," supporters from the various barangays said.

They also asked that an investigation should be conducted to clear Mabilog's name.

"We demand speedy investigation to clear the good name of our beloved mayor," one of the placards read.

The Liga said it is united with the mayor "in search for truth and goodness to prevail."

"Our prayer that our mayor will surpass this ordeal and that all trials he is having now, be put in order and prove triumphant in his endeavor as our servant and as our leader," the group said.

READ: Iloilo City mayor denies being drug lord protector

Hervias said they do support the President's anti-drug war and the release of names of those officials involved but admitted that the barangay captains felt somewhat demoralized because of the tag that Iloilo City is “shabulized.”

He said the tag suggested they have done nothing to stem the tide of illegal drugs when in fact they have been active in addressing the problem.

Hervias said all barangays have organized their own Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Badac) and they are required to submit a monthly report on the status of illegal drugs in their respective area to the Department of Interior and Local Government.

While admitting there are more than 1,800 drug users rounded by the local police during the implementation of Operation Tokhang, Hervias said the drug pushers and possible drug financiers are few as compared to other cities in the country.

He said Mabilog has garnered several awards and recognition from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the mayors’ achievement in anti-illegal drug campaigns here.

But sadly, these awards and recognition were ignored by the law enforcement bodies.

Similarly, Hervias said they are ready for the release of the second batch of names identifying other local officials and barangay officials.
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