By Tara Yap
Iloilo City—Despite being continually identified as an alleged drug protector, Jed Patrick Mabilog will not resign as city mayor.
“It’s very easy for me to resign so that our city will be peaceful. But I have the mandate of the Ilonggos to serve as mayor until 2019 and I will stay,” Mabilog said.
The marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte to assign Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido to Iloilo City won’t make Mabilog step down, he said, even knowing that two mayors had been killed under Espenido’s watch.
“One thing I am quite sure of–with God as my witness–I have never protected anyone, especially (those) in illegal drugs,” Mabilog emphasized.
The beleaguered city mayor said he was disheartened that President Duterte again singled him out despite the President saying in an August 21 press conference that the illegal drug trade had waned in Iloilo City.
Duterte said at that time this was due to the death of alleged drug lord Melvin (Boyet) Odicta Sr. In several speeches, President Duterte had identified Odicta to be Mabilog’s relative. The mayor has denied such relationship.
Mabilog pointed out that Duterte may not be aware that both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) had validated that those affected by illegal drugs accounted for less than one percent of the 449,000 population of Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, Mabilog said he hopes that Espenido may be able to see the correct data while acknowledging what the city government has done in terms of establishing a formal drug rehabilitation program.
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