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Cagayan town mayor belies Duterte claim: ‘Family not on drugs’

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CAGAYAN VALLEY, Philippines- A member of the prominent Antiporda clan in Cagayan province spoke up on the recent accusation of President Rodrigo Duterte that their family is involved in illegal drug operations in this region.

In a statement released on Saturday, January 21, Buguey town mayor Lloyd Antiporda said Duterte’s claim was an “absolute lie, totally baseless and absurd.”

In his speech in Malacañan Palace on Thursday, January 19, President Rodrigo Duterte named certain Licerio Antiporda as “big time pusher and member” of the “Antiporda drug group.”

Mayor Antiporda said an information had earlier reached their camp that his grandfather, former mayor Licerio Antiporda Sr; his father, former mayor Licerio Antiporda Jr; and his brother, former mayor Licerio Antiporda III, were listed as member of the “Antiporda drug group” that Duterte mentioned in his speech.

Antiporda said none among the listed names of his family currently sits as government official.

He said Licerio Sr. already died in 2001 at the age of 91 while Licerio Jr. “has been suffering from severe glaucoma in both eyes since 2012.”

He added that his brother Licerio III already retired in politics since 2013.

“Verily, aside from the fact that our family has nothing to do with illegal drugs trade, the inclusion of the names of my above-named relatives in the narco-list under the category of local officials is highly implausible in view of the fact that they are no longer in the public service as elected local officials,” Antiporda said.

Antiporda also said the “irresponsible” and “wrongful” accusations against his relatives were “obviously perpetrated by our political rivals.”

Before 2016 elections, their family reportedly received reports that their political rivals are implicating them into illegal drug trade.

He said the accusation was concocted in order to “malign and destroy our family’s name for the selfish political gains of our opponents.”

“Our hearts are broken for tainting our family’s good name with false stories but certainly we will not turn our back against our detractors. THE TRUTH IS ON OUR SIDE AND IT SHALL SET US FREE,” Antiporda said.-Northernforum.net

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