President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday blamed drug-linked Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa for the rampant drug activities in Bohol in a speech addressed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command in Camp Lapu-lapu, Cebu.
Espinosa’s illegal narcotics operations in the region has driven illegal drug trade in Bohol, Duterte said while vowing to put an end to the Albuera mayor’s alleged drug business by any means necessary.
The presidentÂ also lamented the proliferation of drugs in Bohol, where his grandmother traced her roots, noting that Boholanos are known to be â€œlaw-abidingâ€ and â€œGod-fearing”.
â€œThatâ€™s how they are in my grandmotherâ€™s hometown; in Maribojoc. They fear God. Thatâ€™s why I wondered where the drugs came fromâ€, Duterte said. â€œIt turns out that it was because of that mayor”.
However, the president did not name contacts of Espinosa in the province who may have worked with the mayor in alleged illegal drug operations in Bohol.
In his disclosure of identities of â€œnarco-officialsâ€ on Sunday morning, Duterte named 159 incumbent and former local officials and lawmakers, judges, and uniformed personnel, but none of them are from Bohol.
The non-inclusion of Bohol officials sparked mixed reactions from Boholano netizens who collectively generated hundreds of comments on DYRD Bohol Ang Kasaliganâ€™s Facebook post which reported the names of individuals in government suspected of illegal narcotics involvement.
Some vented their skepticism over the absence of Boholanos in the list, noting that the high number of drug personalities who surrendered to Bohol authorities is an indication that the provinceÂ is home to drug-linked government officials.
Other netizens were optimistic that another batch of narco-officials will be named by the president.
Previously, Duterte announced that he will be naming 600 public officials who are involved in illegal drug activities.
Boholano Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, for his part, said that a list that could possibly contain names of officials in the province is currently being validated. (Allen Doydora)