ILOILO CITY - At least 5,000 political leaders and members of the opposition Liberal Party formally transferred to the ruling Partido ng Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) in a mass oath-taking ceremony, Thursday.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and his sons 3rd District Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. and Provincial Board Member Lawrence Defensor led the oath-taking of mayors, vice mayors, councilors and barangay officials before House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
In his speech, Alvarez reminded the local officials to steer clear of illegal drugs.
"The President will not allow any local chief executives involved in illegal drugs to join the party," Alvarez said.
President Rodrigo Duterte had called Iloilo a "bedrock" of the drug trade in a speech in July last year, and has several times issued warnings against drug-tagged officials, particularly dismissed Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog.
Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones and Calinog Mayor Alex Centena, who were both on Duterte's list of alleged narco-politicians, were among those who switched to the administration party.