Duterte threatens Malabon mayor Oreta: Solve drug problem in 1 month or face arrest
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, April 2, threatened to have Malabon Mayor Antolin “Len Len” Oreta III "arrested" if his city’s drug problem is not solved in one month.
Duterte issued the warning in his speech during PDP-Laban’s rally in Malabon City, where he endorsed the candidacies of Oreta’s rivals, the husband-and-wife team of reelectionist Malabon Representative Federico "Ricky" Sandoval II and Vice Mayor Jeannie Sandoval, who is running against Oreta in the mayoralty race.
“Mayor, linisin mo ang Malabon mo. Bigyan kita ng isang buwan. Sabihin ko kay (Congressman) Ricky, sorry na lang ha, ipahuli ko mayor 'nyo. Itapon na lang sa Manila Bay (Mayor, clean up Malabon. I'm giving you one month. I’ll tell Ricky, sorry, I will have your mayor arrested. Just throw him in Manila Bay),” he said.
In the same speech, however, Duterte admitted his own failure to eliminate the illegal drug trade in the country – his campaign platform – despite the thousands of people killed in the government's campaign against drugs since he assumed power in 2016.
"Ang droga hindi ko nga makontrol, putangina, pinapatay ko na ang mga hindot na ‘yan. Nandiyan pa rin ‘yung droga. Mas lalo tuloy tumindi (I can't control drugs, son of a bitch, I had those motherfuckers killed already. But the drugs are still there. It even worsened)," he said.
Oreta, who is running under the Liberal Party, is the first cousin of former president Benigno Aquino III and opposition Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV. He is the son of former senator Tessie Aquino-Oreta.
Duterte had repeatedly lambasted Aquino, the LP, and its allies.
‘Our record speaks for itself’
In response to the President’s attack, Oreta cited the city government's achievements in the fight against illegal drugs.
“We deeply appreciate the President’s concern about the drug situation here in Malabon City but our record speaks for itself,” Oreta said in a statement on Wednesday, April 3.
Oreta said Malabon has been conducting its own campaign against illegal drugs even before Duterte declared his administration’s drug war. He said even the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency recognized the city’s efforts “on multiple occasions.”
The mayor said 9 out of the 21 barangays in the city were already cleared of drugs.
“And being the city with the highest number of anti-illegal drug programs in the whole of Metro Manila, PDEA can attest to the fact that Malabonians do not and will never tolerate drug abuse,”Oreta said.
“Through continuous efforts from the local authorities and communities, we have always envisioned Malabon City as one of the first 100% drug-cleared cities in Metro Manila, which is why majority of Malabonians choose to fight alongside us and stay the course,” he added.
Oreta is running for a third and final term as Malabon mayor. – Rappler.com