By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said he ordered a lifestyle check to be conducted on Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog after the latter reportedly asked for a meeting with the President.
In his speech before the newly promoted Philippine National Police (PNP) star-rank officers Wednesday afternoon, Duterte revealed that he ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue) to do the lifestyle check on the mayor.
“Mabilog said word that he wants to talk to me. And, I have some lifestyle check on him,” Duterte said.
“His house is like a palace. Anak siguro talaga ito ng mayamang-mayaman. Ang bahay niya talagang pinasilip ko sa mga NBI pati BIR (Maybe he really is the son of a very rich person. I had the NBI and the BIR check on his house),” he added.
The President, however, did not reveal whether he granted Mabilog’s request or not.
Mabilog, one of the local chief executives tagged by Duterte as involved in the illegal drug trade, asked to meet with the President following the assignment of Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido as chief of the Iloilo City Police.
Mabilog said he wants to meet with Duterte to prove that he has no role in the illegal drug trade in what Duterte called the “bedrock” of illegal drugs in the Visayas region.
Duterte formally assigned Espenido to Iloilo City as he conferred on the police official the Order of Lapu Lapu Medal of Magalong during the celebration of the National Heroes’ Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig City Monday morning.
Espenido is known to have led the raids on the houses of the Parojinog clan last month which led to the death of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 14 others.
He was also the police commander of Albuera, Leyte when Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed in what the NBI called a rubout inside the subprovincial jail in Baybay City.
Both Parojinog and Espinosa were reported to have links to the illegal drug trade.
Mabilog expecting Espenido’s help
Mabilog, in a statement, said he was already anticipating Espenido’s assignment to Iloilo and he expects the police official to get rid of Iloilo’s drug problem.
“I was already expecting Chief Inspector Espenido’s assignment here,” Mabilog said in dialect.
“I expect that he can help us purge the problem of illegal drugs. We can surely learn from his experience especially in naming the new players in the drug trade and where they are hiding,” he added.
Mabilog also said that he will share with Espenido Iloilo’s strategies and compare notes on how to win this war at the barangay level.
“We are open to his ideas on how we can strengthen our campaign against illegal drugs,” he said.
“I look forward to working side by side with Chief Inspector Espenido as the President’s point-man in the battle against illegal drugs in Iloilo, both city and province,” he added.
Cut your links
Duterte, however, insisted that he received reports showing that Mabilog is indeed involved in the drug trade and that it is now time that he cut his ties with the trade.
“Baka ngayon gusto mo nang tapusin koneksyon mo [sa droga] (Maybe now you would want to cut your links with the trade,” Duterte had said.
Tags: Duterte orders lifestyle check on Mabilog, illegal drug trade, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Manila Bulletin, Philippine National Police (PNP), Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, President Duterte
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