Roque on Naga City as "shabu hotbed": President Duterte cannot be wrong | BICOL TODAY

Roque on Naga City as “shabu hotbed”: President Duterte cannot be wrong

By Joey Natividad

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region — Depicting Naga City as “hotbed of shabu” by President Duterte, but was denied by the city council with reports saying the city council is passing a resolution condemning the President’s remarks.

“The President does not have to do that (prove it). He already has access to information. He said it, let it be. If he is wrong, he will apologize. Until he does, he stands by it,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing on August 20.

If they think that the President is wrong, that Naga is not a hotbed of shabu, they should prove it. They should arrest those selling drugs in Naga,” Roque said.

Meantime, Malacanang has stood pat over Duterte’s remark about Naga being the center of the illegal drug trade in the Bicol Region, insinuating that the President has “access to many sources of information” and that Duterte’s remarks have “element of truth”.

Duterte on Thursday again placed VP President Leni Robredo on the hot seat by singling out this city, her hometown, as “hotbed of shabu.”

Roque said the President has “access to all available information that only a President has access to” and did not need to prove it. However, he said Duterte will only apologize once proven wrong. had earlier challenged officials to prove that Naga City is not a hotbed of shabu as the President claimed.

“I stand by my word that Naga is the hotbed of shabu. It was her brother-in-law that brought drugs to Bicol. That’s true,” Duterte said in his speech during the 49th Charter Day celebration at Mandaue City, Cebu.

Duterte was referring to Butch Robredo, brother of late Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Old-timers in Naga have known Butch Robredo as blind, often called as “buta (blind)”. Many said he was a user of a certain drug that is prescribed by his doctor to remedy his discomfort arising from his blindness.

But reports of Butch being a “drug user”, has gotten “maimed and twisted” during his brother Jesse’s term as City Mayor, and then as DILG Secretary, that political opponents had dragged the name of “Buta” Butch into the illegal drug trade.

According to reports, former Naga City councilor Luis Ortega first claimed that Leni’s brother-in-law was involved in the drug trade.

Ortega and former city councilor Emilio Aguinaldo had previously filed graft and corruption cases against Jesse Robredo during the early 2000s before the Ombudsman, totaling about 50 complaints.

During the filing of cases, Aguinaldo mysteriously disappeared and was never seen again, forcing Naga “tongues on wild witchhunt about the missing Aguinaldo.”

Ortega’s’ statement was taken seriously by Malacanang, and, now backed by the President’s claim, the report would be investigated.

“This is a development that should be investigated,” Roque said over radio interview last Aug. 22.

If there are incidents like this, we have to know the steps taken by Vice President to implement laws in her own city and her own family,” he added.

Law enforcement agencies are currently validating information bared by Duterte. []

Posted by on September 3, 2018. Filed under Bicol News,Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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