MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing Pangasinan 1st District Rep. Jesus Celeste on Friday said he would look into the possibility of filing charges against those responsible for tagging him anew in the so-called list of alleged “narco-politicians,” which he downplays as being politically-motivated.
“Sagutin ko ‘yung fi-nile nilang kaso sa akin. Kung may makita akong mali dun syempre magpa-file din kami ng kaso kung nakita namin may hindi magandang ginawa,” Celeste told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview, as he denied his involvement in any drug-related activity.
“Noon pa ‘yun. Meron na ako, cleared na ko sa binigay na clearance ng regional peace and order council. Three years ago pa ito eh,” he added.
READ: Duterte exposes 46 ‘narco politicians’ | Duterte names 46 pols on narcolist
The district congressman, who said he is a member of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan, pointed out that he welcomes the administrative charges the Department of the Interior and Local Government had filed against him and the other 45 politicians.
READ: DILG files administrative cases vs 46 politicians in ‘narcolist’
“Eh wala po tayong magawa, Presidente na ito, sinabi nya ‘yun, pero mabuti na rin ‘yun dahil masasagot ko… sa korte na kami magkita, sasagutin natin ‘yun kung ano man ang kaso nila sa atin,” the three-termer congressman said.
Asked if he thinks the President should have not named them, he answered: “Campaign period nilabas mo ‘yun. Edi lumalabas political ano lang ‘yun.”
Celeste also said charges should have been filed against him in 2016 when he was also tagged in a previous “narco-list.”
Aside from Celeste, Zambales 1st District Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun and Leyte 3rd District Rep. Vicente “Ching” Veloso were also the other House members included in the alleged “narcolist.”
Khonghun refused to comment on the issue ahead of consulting his lawyer.
“Hindi ko pa nakakausap ang lawyer ko eh, pwedeng hindi muna ko magcomment?” the lawmaker who is hoping to finish his last term, said.
But Khonghun’s son and incumbent Subic town Mayor, Jay, already belied the claims that their family is involved in any drug-related activity during a Facebook live interview on Wednesday night. Jay, who is running for Zambales vice governor, also insinuated that the allegations could be part of a smear campaign.
“Pagdating po ng panahon at may lumabas po na listahan na ganyan, hindi po kami panghihinaan ng loob dahil alam naman po namin na ‘yun ay hindi totoo…” said Jay, who was with his partner, actress Aiko Melendez.
Veloso, who is seeking reelection, meanwhile denied the allegations Thursday night and vowed to resign if proven to be involved in the illegal narcotics trade, as well as file charges against those responsible for including him in the list for causing “undue injury” to his reputation. /muf
READ: Veloso slams inclusion in ‘narcolist,’ says it’s politically motivated
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