The incoming mayor of Tuburan, Cebu is mum on allegations against him after being tagged as one of the government officials involved in agri-smuggling in the Philippines.
Current Tuburan vice mayor Aljun Diamante initially said he was shocked to hear his name mentioned by Senate President Tito Sotto in a report read in a Senate session.
The report tackled the smuggling of agricultural products in the country and those who allegedly benefit from it.
Diamante made no further comment, citing legal advice from his lawyer. He added that he is waiting for charges to be filed against him.
“Sa akin lang ay patunayan nila kung mayroon silang ebidensya kasi ako nandito lang ako sa bayan ng Tuburan, tumulong gumagawa ng proyekto para mapakinabangan ng taong bayan,” he said.
Diamante is set to have a new term as Tuburan mayor after winning uncontested in the 2022 polls.
He also sat as mayor of the town from 2010-2019, during which time he became president of the League of Municipalities in Cebu.
Tuburan is a 2nd class municipality known for farming. It is also home to Cebu’s only coffee farm.
Apart from Diamante, the Senate report also tagged at least three ranking officials of the Department of Agriculture, five from the Bureau of Customs, and another local official as "alleged protectors and smugglers of agricultural products in the country."—Report from Annie Perez