TACLOBAN CITY- Shame on you. Thus said City Councilor Edwin Chua as he defended himself from “rumormongers” who tagged him as involved in the illegal drug trade. In his impassioned speech during the inaugural opening of the 13th Sangguniang Panlungsod on Wednesday (July 13), Chua vehemently denied the allegation saying it is not true adding that he would do everything within his powers to defend his name and reputation. “I could have just dismissed the rumor. Deadma (dead malice). But it has become so persistent that even my friends from Manila kept calling me and asked me about it, reason why I have to openly talk about it,” Chua said in his more than 10 minutes speech before his colleagues at the city council, barangay officials, media and his supporters. Chua, who was once a city vice mayor, had been the subject of rumor that he, together with Vice Mayor Jerry “Sambo” Yaokasin, were involved in the illicit drug trade and have surrendered to the authorities. Yaokasin, presiding officer of the city council, had also denied the allegation. Alleged drug users and pushers have come out in droves to surrender before authorities as the administration of President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte launched its “Oplan Tokhang” as part of its campaign to end the proliferation of the illegal drugs in the country.
“That is not true at all. That is a product of my enemies’ malicious minds who are out to destroy my name and reputation. Confront me and I will shoot you,” he said.
At one point of his speech, he made his audience at the gallery fell in silence when he uttered the word “kill.” Chua, however, referred it not to the person but to the rumor alleging him to be in the illegal drug trade. “I urge you to kill…the rumor,” he said. Chua said that the more than 65,000 votes that he garnered during the May 9 elections was a testament that he enjoys the trust and confidence of the Taclobanons. Mayor Cristina Gonzales Romualdez also dismissed the allegation saying it is nothing but “intrigue.” “I came from show business where intrigues abound. No, it’s not true at all. I don’t believe it,” Romualdez, who appeared during the inaugural session of the city council, said. The city mayor said that she still believes and trust Yaokasin and Chua, her political allies. (With LIZBETH AAN ABELLA)