Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is not on President Duterte’s list of politicians allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino said yesterday. Aquino said PDEA has not received any report confirming Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre’s statement that Osmeña is in the payroll of drug lords. Aquino said 87 politicians, including mayors and vice mayors, are on the President’s drug watchlist. Aquino said PDEA would tap other agencies in validating Aguirre’s statement. Aguirre’s revelations against Osmeña came after the mayor threatened to file graft and disbarment cases against the justice chief over his supposed interference in the tax evasion charges filed by the Cebu City government against executives of SM Prime Holdings and BDO Unibank Inc.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is involved in the illegal drug trade, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said yesterday. Aguirre said they have a witness who submitted an affidavit who named Osmeña as a “protector of drug lords.” The witness surfaced last year, but he did not divulge it because they were still building the case. Aguirre said the NBI would file charges against Osmeña once the information is verified. Asked about the specific charges to be filed against Osmeña, Aguirre said, “Something like protection of drug lords together with police officials.” Last week, Osmeña threatened to file graft and disbarment cases against Aguirre over his supposed interference in the tax evasion charges filed by the Cebu City government against executives of SM Prime Holdings and BDO Unibank Inc. Aguirre said the respondents requested the transfer because they feel they could ”hardly expect fairness since the people (in Cebu) will favor the mayor” and there was nothing irregular in his order to transfer the cases against SM and BDO executives to the Department of Justice from the Cebu prosecutor’s office.