Thursday, August 16, 2018

Naga Mayor questions President’s claim that the city is a “shabu hotbed”



In the midst of telling the public that Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo is incompetent of succeeding him as president, President Rodrigo Duterte said that the VP’s hometown, Naga City is a hotbed of shabu.
Naga City Mayor John Bongat / Photo from Urbanet

Because of this statement, Naga City Mayor John Bongat had to comment on the issue and defend his town. He says that the president’s statement lacks merit and evidence.

"Shabu is not [particular] to one city alone. It is existent in all cities in the country, hindi lang naman Naga, buong Pilipinas yata," Bongat said in an interview on Balitanghali.

He adds that he is dumbfounded on how the president came to that conclusion even though the city of Naga never stood out in terms of reports on drugs. More than that, Mayor Bongat said that he is curious to know where President Duterte’s information came from and why he chose to target Naga City specifically when there are drugs found in most cities all around the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte / Photo from Inquirer

"Mahirap kasi sabihin na hotbed, pero hindi namin alam kung anong basehan," he continued.

"Hindi naman malinaw sa akin, halimbawa bilang alkalde, kung kailan yun. Posible during the term of Mayor Robredo or during my term. I have been mayor of Naga since 2010," said Bongat.

Bongat became Mayor right after Robredo’s husband, Jesse Robredo who was Mayor of Naga from 1988 to 1998, and 2001 to 2010.
Jesse Robredo / Photo from Inquirer

Bongat continues on to say that the President should really confirm and qualify his claims because innocent lives will be harmed and there may unnecessary alarm be brought upon the citizens on naga over the President’s contentious claims.

He adds that the city has a Dangerous Drugs Board and Life Counseling Center that is active in implementing anti-drug intervention programs in order to curb the existing drugs in the city.

"'Di natin ma-deny, meron naman kahit saan, pero lahat naman ng efforts ng PNP, which is under the DILG and the Office of the President, malamang meron silang datos patungkol sa shabu, na hindi lang naman sa lungsod ng Naga kundi sa buong Pilipinas," Bongat said.

However, he says that Naga City had never been claimed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or any other drug board to have big drug personalities residing within, or being a drugs hotbed at all.