Ni: Criselda Palarca

ANGELES CITY – Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan yesterday expressed his eagerness “to face his accusers” that he is allegedly involved in drugs as he called for the immediate convening of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) to investigate and adjudicate on Central Luzon local officials supposedly in the list of narco-politicians recently stripped of police powers by the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM).

“I would want to face those who accuse me in open investigations as their allegations are without basis and could be product of dirty politicking,” Pamintuan said during Monday’s flag ceremony at the Angeles City hall.

The RPOC is the mechanism that is supposed to validate, investigate and adjudicate to either affirm or clear local officials accused to be involved in drugs. But Pamintuan said there has been no validation and investigation yet before the list that included him was released.

The RPOC for Region 3, chaired by Bataan Governor Albert Garcia, is set to meet anytime before the month ends.

Pamintuan expressed confidence that he will be cleared by the RPOC even as he has yet to see any evidence against him.

“My suspicion is that the raw information against me is tainted as the same unfounded charges were being hurled against me before by my political opponents,” he said.

During the flag ceremony, Pamintuan recalled that he was the first local official to create an anti-drugs unit as early as 1996, the Angeles City Anti-Drugs Task Force, which was replicated afterwards by other local governments.

He also said that his inclusion in the list is ironic as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has awarded Angeles City four out of six citations from 2012 to 2016 for its anti-drugs efforts and programs.