'Hindi ako drug lord': Veloso questions basis of Duterte's new 'narco list'

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2019 11:42 PM

MANILA - Leyte 3rd District Rep. Vicente "Ching" Veloso on Thursday said he is not a narco-politician after he was included in the latest "narco-list" of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Veloso said he has been cleared of this allegation in the past by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa.

"If the regional director of PDEA says hindi ako drug lord, na hindi ako narco-politician, na 'di ako protector, ano ngayon ang naging basis ng Presidente in saying that I am a narco-politico?" he said.

Veloso, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, is eyeing criminal charges against those responsible for including him in the list.

“If they cannot prove that, not only will I be filing criminal charges against them, but I urge the President to fire his men who allowed themselves to be used as tool to destroy the name of politicians," he said.

Veloso said the allegation is a rehash of what has been a "resolved issue."

He was included in the sworn statement of slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. on the alleged conspirators in the narcotics trade.

In another inquiry, Veloso said the regional director of PDEA in Leyte said he was not involved in the illegal drug trade.

"Inamin niya on the record hindi ako puwedeng maging drug lord dahil sinabi niya for 2 years ako ang nagbabayad sa PDEA training program," he said.

"Ako rin actually ang gumagastos ng mga operational expenses nila for the 3rd District of Leyte. Imposible."