• Several mayors tagged by president in drug watchlist denied links to illegal drug trade
  • They said the information handed to Duterte was wrong
  • They are also willing to undergo probes to clear their names

MANILA, Philippines – Several mayors who were identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as involved in the illegal drug trade have categorically denied his claim and said they are willing to undergo an investigation to clear their names.

“I can categorically say that I am not involved in the protection, trade, and use of illegal drugs. I am willing to open myself for any investigation, cooperate and submit myself to any court of law,” Iloilo City Mayor Patrick Jed Mabilog said.

Former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama said the accusations against him were politically motivated due to his being a fellow partymate of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

“I’ve always maintained to be a law-abiding citizen, standing by the rule of law. Wherever they ask me to be at, I’ll be there. I’m very much eager to undergo an investigation to clear the air of doubts and so that justice and truth will prevail,” he said.

Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., whose daughter Nova Princess was linked to Herbert Colangco, said he also will also present himself to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to clear his name.

“My name has been dragged despite 15 years of efforts to transform our city. You know all about this, we have been fighting drugs,” he said.

Laoang Mayor Hector Ong, on the other hand, said he is confident Duterte would give him a chance to clear his name.

“I will clear my name because the President himself has assured us that we will be given due process. But clearly, I categorically deny that we are narco-politicians. We are public servants,” he said.

Other mayors who denied Duterte’s alllegations, according to Rappler, are Tubao Mayor Dante Garcia of La Union, Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales of Pampanga, and Lasam Mayor Marjorie Salazar of Cagayan province.