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Concepcion mayor shocked with report on drug links
By Ashley Manabat

Nov 14, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT – “Meshock ku (I was shocked)!”

Thus, said an emotional Mayor Andres Lacson of Concepcion, Tarlac, on Friday at the Bale Balita here where he rushed to seek media attention to flatly deny his alleged involvement in the illegal dugs’ trade.

Lacson said he was totally caught by surprised by the resolution from the National Police Commission (Napolcom) stripping him as well as 23 other mayors and a governor of police control and supervision for their alleged “engagement” in illegal drugs.

The mayor said he wrote letters addressed to the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for “clarification” and the Napolcom on what is the basis of their resolution.

“Definitely it’s political, because I can see no other angle,” he said when asked why he was implicated in illegal drugs.

Lacson is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) as well as most of the incumbent officials in Tarlac.

As a show of support, the entire municipal council including Vice Mayor Dan David and the barangay captains accompanied Lacson to the Bale Balita.

David said out of the town’s 45 barangays, 17 are already declared drug-free.

Concepcion is the second biggest municipality in Tarlac after Tarlac City.

Lacson said there are “no organize drug syndicates in Concepcion.”

The mayor recalled that some months ago he met with representatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the PDEA who wanted to validate reports of illegal drugs in Concepcion.

Then came a group of individuals who introduced themselves as members of the validating team and asked him questions on his business and other personal questions such as where he goes after office hours.

Lacson said he told them that he is home by 7 p.m. because that is the only time he had with his family.

He has five children – four girls and a boy – with the eldest at 10 years old and the youngest two.

“My wife is a baker and sells her products online,” he added.

Lacson swears he has no vices since he entered politics when he was only 18 years old as Sangguniang Kabataan, then as councilor, vice mayor and now as second term mayor.

“I was already cleared,” he said.

“I can accept the stripping of the control and supervision of the police but what I cannot accept is the whereas provision which says that after continuous validation said official is found to be involved in illegal drug trade activities which is impossible to happen,” he lamented.

He said all of his town mates are indignant.

Rally

At around 5 p.m. on Friday, a prayer rally was organized by Concepcion parish priest Msgr. Ramon Capuno at the town plaza for his support.

“I challenge the Napolcom to come to Concepcion and asked around. I doubt if anyone would say that I am involved in illegal drugs,” Lacson said.

“That is why I need some clarification from the authorities. I challenge them what is their basis what is their evidence in pinning me down,” he stressed.

“On my part, I am willing to resign should or when they find out any evidence that I am involved in illegal drugs,” he declared.

“I will step down as mayor if they can prove my connection with illegal drugs,” he said.

He said Supt. Mike Guzman, Concepcion chief of police, was also shocked.

Lacson said Guzman was just newly-assigned in his town and served as intelligence chief of the Tarlac Provincial Police Office prior to his designation in Concepcion.

“That is why he knows me personally,” said Lacson, “because he admitted that they made a validation when he was still intel chief.”

Lacson said DILG municipal officer Rosan Viray also admitted that last April and May, men in civilian clothes asked her what kind of mayor is your mayor?

Is he involved in drugs etc.?

Viray has reportedly told them that the mayor has no involvement in illegal activities especially drugs.

“I’ll stand by it,” Lacson quoted Viray as saying.

“So where is the basis?” Lacson asked.

“Edaka pete biye pero balamu pete danaka naman (They did not take your life but it’s like killing you also),” Lacson said of his alleged “malicious implication” in illegal drugs.




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