Negros Or. mayor on Duterte drug list: My child leave behind going to school

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental — The mayor of the sleepy town of Basay, the southernmost town of Negros Oriental, has denied allegations of President Duterte branding him as a drug coddler.

Mayor Beda Cañamaque of Basay said that after he heard about the announcements on Sunday, he and his lawyer drove more than 120 kilometers on Monday morning to the police headquarters in Sibulan town, Negros Oriental to submit himself for an investigation. He admitted that his family has been hit hard by the allegations and one of his children has refused to show up at school due to humiliation. “I voluntarily offered myself for a drug test at the police headquarters, which showed that I was negative [of drug traces],” said Cañamaque. He said he wanted to prove to them that he was clean and could not be a drug protector. He said he also submitted an affidavit to the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office to clear his name and to “deny all the allegations that I am a drug protector.”

“I pray that due process be given to me because I am not that kind of person,” said Cañamaque, now on his second term as mayor of Basay, a fourth class municipality. Before he was mayor, Cañamaque was a police chief for eight years beginning in 1984. He then opted to become municipal warden at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

“I’m happy with President Digong (Rodrigo Duterte) for his dedication and direction in stopping illegal drugs; President Digong is my idol. But maybe he received intelligence that was not properly validated,” Cañamaque said. He suspected that politics was behind his inclusion in the list. “I think the contra partido just wants to ruin my political career and my family,” he added. Cañamaque said it has been so unfair that even his child in Dumaguete has refused to go to school due to humiliation. He said he requested for a re-investigation of information against him.

“I am sure 1,000 percent they are wrong on implicating me there because I am so against [the proliferation of] illegal drugs in Basay.” He said he even warned pushers from the neighboring town of Sta. Catalina and Bayawan City not to peddle drugs in his town of Basay. The mayor said his fate has been placed in the hands of Chief Supt. Conrado Capa, the Negros Island Region police director.

“I will wait further because actually, there are no charges against me so I don’t have anything to answer for yet,” he said. In a report from the Negros Oriental PNP Provincial Office, the town of Basay recorded 63 users and six pushers who voluntarily surrendered in July, in line with Oplan Tokhang, the house-to-house campaign of cops to persuade suspected drug users and pushers to return to the fold of law undergo rehabilitation.

H/T: inquirer

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