- Iloilo City mayor’s supporters held a prayer rally for embattled leader
- They also decried portrayal of Iloilo City, said “most shabulized” description unfair
- PNP said case build-up versus mayor to continue
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo – Supporters of embattled Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog held a prayer rally in a show of force even as they decried the administration’s unfair portrayal of their city and province.
“We are praying not just for Mayor Mabilog but for Iloilo City as whole,” evangelical pastor Normandy Notes told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “We are saddened with what has been happening and because Iloilo has been unfairly labeled as most shabulized.”
Notes, who spearheaded the rally in Iloilo City’s Plaza Libertad, said it is not true that their place is infested with drugs as President Rodrigo Duterte regularly claims.
“I have been living here for 30 years and we all know what is true,” he said.
Other rallyists — including Mabilog’s friends and classmates — echoed Notes’ sentiments, saying Iloilo City’s reputation and image is being destroyed.
The gathering came shortly after officials from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) inspected Mabilog’s house as part of a lifestyle check.
Duterte had described the house as “like a palace”. In turn, the mayor —a cousin of Sen. Franklin Drilon— said he and his wife built the home with money they earned legitimately. He also denied being a narco-politician; saying he was already wealthy from his several businesses before he entered politics.
For their part, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said they will still investigate Mabilog and build up a case against him.
Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, a point man in Duterte’s war on drugs, has been assigned as police chief of Iloilo City. He has yet to personally meet Mabilog.
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