MANILA - Senator Franklin Drilon and his cousin former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog share "decency, honesty and the desire for public service" in their blood, the latter's wife said Saturday following President Rodrigo Duterte's latest tirade.
"Both are not tainted with any proven cases of corruption. You can't say the same for most of the political clans in the country," Marivic Mabilog said in a social media post.
The senator had said Mabilog is "a distant relative, being a second cousin."
"I cannot comprehend why the President wanted me to explain my connection with former Mayor Jed Mabilog and Gen. Garbo. But what I can say is, there is not an iota of evidence that will link my name to illegal drugs," Drilon said.
"If all these malicious attacks are the price we have to pay for exposing the truth, then be it. We will face them," he said.
Duterte has repeatedly castigated Drilon as the latter continues to criticize what he thinks are questionable policies and programs of the administration, including the government spending on COVID-19 response. Both are from rival political parties.
In a speech over the weekend, Duterte brought up Drilon's years-old photos with Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains of a multibillion-peso scam that funneled the lawmakers’ pork barrel funds to bogus NGOs.
Drilon should also "explain your connection" with Mabilog and former general Marcelo Garbo Jr., both of whom Duterte earlier accused of ties to the narcotics trade, the President said.
Furthermore, he challenged Drilon to disclose who owns the biggest mall in Iloilo and who brokered the sale of the city's old airport to a firm.
"I do not have to defend what I did in Iloilo. Mr. President, ask the people of Iloilo," Drilon responded.
Clearing her husband's name, Marivic urged Duterte to tell the public he "lied about him."
Mabilog fled the country due to fears for his and his family's life after Duterte linked him to the illegal drug trade.
"Have you read yet the PNP, DILG, PDEA, NBI reports exonerating and clearing him? Those reports reached your desk in early 2017, and again in 2018," she said.
"Is that how poor your reading comprehension is? You asked the NBI to perform a lifestyle check, right? You even deployed them to our house? Were you ever ashamed of yourself that you did not find the courage to tell the people the truth? That everything you accused Jed of is just a product of your evil, malevolent, sick mind? Fentanyl not working on you? Triple dose might help. Better yet, an overdose will solve the country’s ills."
Under the Duterte administration, several alleged “narco-politicians” have been killed in supposed legitimate police operations, namely Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.
- report from Rolen Escaniel
FROM THE ARCHIVES