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Shun drug-tainted bets, PDEA chief urges public



Sabangan town mayoralty candidate Sonny Kalaw and seven other persons were arrested after being caught transporting millions worth of marijuana on Wednesday. (File photo/PDEA Cordillera)

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Wilkins Villanueva urged the public not to vote for drug-tainted candidates seeking election in the coming May 2022 polls.

“Dismiss candidates who are involved in illegal drug activities. They do not deserve your votes. We urge the voting public to choose our next leaders wisely,” Villanueva said in a statement.

The PDEA chief made the call following the recent arrest of a mayoralty candidate caught transporting marijuana in Sadanga, Mountain Province.

[Related story: Mayoralty bet, 7 others nabbed over P20.7M marijuana in Mt. Province]

Sonny Kalaw, a former police officer running for mayor in Sabangan town, was arrested with four others at a checkpoint last Friday, after PDEA agents found P2.28 million worth of marijuana in their van.

Villanueva warned that it is still possible for candidates who connive with drug syndicates to have an advantage in the polls.

Drug money may seep into the electoral process, funding the campaign of certain politicians seeking positions in the government in exchange for protection and self-preservation, he said.

“Our vote is precious and please treat it that way. If we want to attain drug-free communities, we should opt for leaders who genuinely defend the nation from illegal drugs,” Villanueva said.