MANILA -- A city mayor included in President Rodrigo Duterte's list of politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs on Friday blamed the patriarch of a rival political family in Quezon province for his inclusion in the roster.
Lucena Mayor Roderick Alcala said Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez threatened him over the phone that he would release documents against him unless he stops a certain broadcaster.
Alcala said his inclusion was "politically motivated" and that he had heard of his possible inclusion even before it was announced.
"Alam ko na on my part na sila ang behind dito, ginagawan nila ng paraan para tayo ay ma-link dito. Isang malakas na puwersa dito sa lalawigan at ito ang ginagawa nila," he said.
(I know on my part that they are behind this, they found a way to link me to this. A powerful force in the province and this is what they did.)
Suarez called the allegation "irresponsible."
"I have nothing to do with it," he told ABS-CBN News.
Alcala, who is running for his last term under Duterte's PDP-Laban, said Suarez was up against his uncle for the gubernatorial seat in Quezon. Suarez's son is hoping to replace the lawmaker in the House of Representatives but is against another of Alcala's uncles.
The mayor said his inclusion in the list was meant to "paralyze" the 160,000 votes coming from his hometown.
Duterte released a new list of politicians supposedly involved in the illegal drug trade on Thursday 2 months before the May elections. He said the officials in the list are facing administrative cases before the Office of the Ombudsman.