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Marawi Vice Mayor denies involvement in illegal drugs

MANILA, Philippines — Marawi City Vice Mayor Arafat Salic, who was included on the list of “narco politicians” announced by President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, has denied his involvement in the illegal drug trade.

“Kinausap ko siya at sabi niya wala naman talaga siya kinalaman diyan (I talked to him, and he said he has nothing to do with it [illegal drugs]),” his lawyer, Mohammad Nabil Mutia, told reporters on Friday.

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Salic was at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday to undergo inquest proceeding after he was arrested last March 13 for his alleged involvement in the Marawi siege.

The DOJ, however, ordered his release because the complaint filed by the police is not “inquestable,” according to a state prosecutor.

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Mutia lamented that it is difficult for them to contest the narcolist was made public by Duterte.

“Mahirap sumagot sa accusation na hindi pa naman nakikita yung basis nila bakit isinama si Vice Mayor. Wala pa kaming narereceive na papel kung talagang kasama siya…but definitely my client is not involved sa mga ganung klaseng illegal na gawain,” he added.

(It is hard to counter that accusation because we have yet to see the basis for including the Vice Mayor on the list. We have not received documents if his name was really included […] but definitely my client is not involved in any illegal activities.)

For now, Mutia said they will focus on the rebellion case because it is already the subject of a preliminary investigation. /ee

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