MANILA - The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) wants the Ombudsman to investigate Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and his brother, Councilor Hero Bautista, over the proliferation of illegal drugs in the city.
In a joint criminal and administrative complaint filed on Friday, the VACC accused the Bautista brothers of dishonesty, neglect of duty, misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service; grave misconduct; and, violating the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The group questioned why Mayor Bautista failed to combat the illegal drug trade in Quezon City since he assumed office in 2010.
"Matagal na siyang mayor dito. Bakit lumago ang illegal drugs sa Quezon City? Bakit number 1 siyang syudad sa Pilipinas na maraming mga adik, mga user? Bakit dalawang direktor ng Quezon City ay nasasangkot sa illegal drugs? Bakit andaming sumurrender dito, mga pushers mga users? Bakit andaming napapatay? Yan po ang pananagutan ni Mayor Bistek?" VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez said.
(He's been mayor for so long. Why did illegal drugs proliferate in Quezon City? Why is it the number one city in terms of drug addicts, drug users? Why are two directors of Quezon City linked to drugs? Why are there so many drug surrenderers, pushers, and users? Why are so many being killed here? That is Mayor Bistek's accountability.)
"Imagine that, mayor ka, hindi mo alam nangyayari sa syudad mo?"
(Imagine that, you're the mayor but you don't know what's happening in your city?)
The mayor also allegedly turned a blind eye on his brother's substance abuse.
The VACC also called for Councilor Bautista's resignation.
"Is there such a thing as leave of absence after admittance of use of illegal drugs? I think there should be resignation," said Atty. Ariel Jawid, VACC lawyer.
"Ang ebidensya namin dito kay Mayor Baustista ay yung admission ni Hero na kanyang kapatid, yan ang ebidensya. Pero marami pang lalabas na testigo at mga ebidensya," Jimenez said.
(Our evidence against Mayor Bautista is his brother Hero's admission, that's our evidence. But there will be more witnesses and pieces of evidence.)
The VACC is also set to file complaints against another batch of local government officials over the illegal drug trade activities in their constituency.
"Let it be a warning to all na mga local government officials. You are held liable in your respective jurisdiction. Ang inyong mga constituent, matagal na kayo sa pwesto, bakit lumaki ang droga sa inyong lugar?" Jimenez said.
(Let it be a warning to all local government officials. You are held liable in your respective jurisdiction. You've bee in power for so long, why are drugs spreading in your areas?)
As of posting, ABS-CBN was still trying to get a statement from Mayor Bautista who is currently in Oslo, Norway for the peace talks of the Philippine government with the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Quezon City Administrator Aldrin Cuña said the Bautista brothers will not give a statement until they receive an official copy of the complaint.
Councilor Bautista recently admitted to being a "victim of the drug menace," and has taken a leave from his work in Quezon City so he can undergo rehabilitation.
Quezon City Police District Director Guillermo Eleazar has also relieved 72 policemen in various city police stations from their posts. Sixty-nine of the 72 are suspected of being involved in drugs.