- The PNP in Visayas has recalled the 21 security escorts of Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog
- The bodyguards of two other ‘narco-mayors’ in the region were also pulled out
- Meanwhile, hundreds of Mabilog’s supporters trooped to the city hall to defend their mayor from the allegation
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recalled all the 21 security escorts of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, as well as those of two other mayors in Western Visayas named in the ‘drug list’ by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Out of the four alleged ‘narco- mayors’ in the region tagged by Duterte, Mabilog had the most security escorts – 21, followed by Mayor Alex Centena of Calinog, Iloilo with four and Mayor Julius Pacificador of Hamtic, Antique with two.
Meanwhile, Mayor Mariano Malones of Maasin town, Iloilo had no security escort.
According to Inquirer’s Nestor Burgos Jr., the Police Regional Office in Western Visayas (PRO-6) decided to pull out all the 27 PNP bodyguards after they were implicated by Duterte as ‘narco-politicians.
But the camp of Mabilog defended the large number of security escorts assigned to the mayor; saying they worked in shifts and some were assigned at Mabilog’s residence.
Mabilog’s spokesperson, Mark Piad, said they are now concerned about the safety and security of the mayor after his bodyguards were pulled out as “people with ill motives” might take advantage of the situation.
Supporters defended Mabilog
In another development, supporters of Mabilog has trooped to the city hall to support the embattled local executive, whom Duterte accused of coddling drug lords and syndicates in the province.
Hundreds of Mabilog’s supporters – composed mostly of the Liga ng mga Barangay leaders and members – gathered at the city hall on Monday, August 8, to demand a ‘speedy investigation’ to clear their mayor’s name.
“There is no truth that the mayor is (a) drug protector. We have seen how he worked hard for the progress of the city,” said the group led by Liga President and Councilor Reyland Hervias.
Meanwhile, the Iloilo City Council has called for “a speedy, impartial, lawful and formal investigation” on Mabilog’s alleged link to illegal drug trade even as it expressed its full support to the “leadership and integrity” of the mayor.