The League of Municipalities in the Philippines -Negros Oriental chapter yesterday said it is 100 percent behind President Rodrigo Duterte in the war against illegal drugs.
The statement came in the heels of a “locked up” meeting in Malacañang with local chief executives in the country Wednesday.
Negros Oriental LMP president, Mayor Edcel Enardecido of Ayungon, said President Duterte did not name names about mayors who are suspected of being involved in illegal drugs.
But he said the President urged them to maximize the use of their intelligence funds or he will look into how it is being used as the only person other than the Commission on Audit who can look into it.
It was also disclosed during the meeting that Negros Island Region is among the top three regions in the country with the most number of pushers and users, Enardecido said.
Metro Manila comes first, followed by Region 3.
Based on records, Negros Oriental alone has more than 13,000 civic action volunteers under Operation TokHang.
Enardecido said there was no mention about federalism.
Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo said Duterte met them as a mayor himself and not as the President.
Remollo said Duterte appealed to all mayors to help in the fight against the drug trade, corruption and criminality.
The President was firm in his belief that the drug trade will not flourish in the localities if the mayors and the police are not in cahoots with each other, Remollo said.
Remollo said the President was also appalled by validated reports that local executives, up to the barangay level, and the police are involved in the drug trade.
Remollo has reiterated his all-out support for the war against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality, especially in Dumaguete City.
Mayor Ernesto Uy of Mabinay, Negros Oriental, and Mayor Reynaldo Concepcion of Tanjay City have confirmed that cellphones were kept and so no pictures were taken during the meeting as Duterte said “usapang mayor” was to take place.
Concepcion has refused to reveal pronouncements made by the President in that closed-door meeting, so that these will just remain among the mayors themselves.
However, Concepcion said he is against the taking of lives, especially those of drug addicts but he did not elaborate.*JG