TACLOBAN CITY – Former Northern Samar congressman Emil Ong and his family cried foul over allegations they are into the illegal drug trade. Ong’s brother, Laoang town mayor Hector, and the mayor’s wife, Madeleine, were named by President Rodrigo Duterte as among the protectors of illegal drug syndicates. Hector is the current mayor of Laoang while his wife previously sat as mayor herself. She also served as governor from 1998 to 2001.
In an interview, Ong said their family felt insulted with the accusation and have already been condemned publicly without due process. He said he himself has been strictly campaigning against illegal drugs and illegal gambling in their province long before the former city mayor of Davao City became President.
“When my brother became governor in 2013, I accompanied him to the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in order for the latter to instruct the provincial director to get rid the drug proliferation in our province including illegal gambling,” Ong said. Ong said that the number of minors who are being involved in illegal drug activities are increasing. At one time, Ong disclosed, he borrowed trained dogs which can detect drugs and brought it to the villages in one of their anti-illegal drug campaigns. “It was very successful and many drug dependents were arrested,” Ong said. He asked that the source of information of the President should be thoroughly investigated as this run in contrast to their campaign and their continued stance to fight the menace.
The former solon said that his brother should at least be given the chance to confront his accuser as it is a basic right under the Constitution. He claimed that the name and shame campaign of the President appears like the country is under martial law. For his part, Mayor Ong and his wife Madeleine, denied the allegations that they are into the illegal drug trade. “We are not narco-politicians,” was the mayor’s reaction after the announcement came out on Sunday(August 7). He said he want to see the President to defend himself and his wife. “We are willing to be investigated. I think the list should be reviewed. But I trust President Duterte will accord us due process,” the former mayor said. However, he maintained that despite the accusations, his entire family is still in support of President Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
(RYAN GABRIEL LLOSA ARCENAS)