Mayor Zubiri: 8 employees found using illegal drugs resigned as of January 11

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News/24 January)  Malaybalay City mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri confirmed reports city government employees were found to have used illegal drugs and owned them as “under the mayor’s office” in a two-paragraph  statement dated January 23.

Zubiri said he issued the statement to confirm that eight employees from the city government were found to have used illegal drugs a week after the city was rife with rumors on the issue.

The statement came 12 days after the employees stopped reporting to work as of January 11 after they tendered resignation, based on the mayor’s statement released Tuesday morning.

“I have called the attention of these employees and advised them to resign,” he added.

Zubiri reiterated in his statement that he is an anti-drug advocate who will not tolerate or condone the use of illegal drugs by employees in the City Hall or by any private individual.
“The city government under my administration has been and will always be active in the fight against drug trafficking and the use of illegal drugs in the city,” he added.

Vice Mayor Victor Aldeguer has defended his brother Emmanuel “Maning,” who was among those reported to be caught on camera using shabu.  The other Aldeguer works as Mayor Zubiri’s executive assistant. He told reporters Tuesday morning that their family was shocked that the name of his brother was included in the list. He said Maning is a “athletic, religious family man.”

He refused to issue further statements deferring to Mayor Zubiri’s.

But he noted that the experience is a lesson for the city government as they plan for further action regarding city employees. Bukidnon News is yet to obtain an official list of the suspects and reach them for comments.

Aldeguer said he will back the idea of subjecting city government employees to voluntary or random drug testing.

He The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is in possession of six video footages showing employees of Malaybalay City Hall using shabu during office hours and caught on camera while in uniform, the PDEA officer in charge in Bukidnon told Bukidnon News.
The PDEA official who asked not to be named for security reasons said they presented the evidence to Zubiri on January 16.
The PDEA official said there is an increasing prevalence of public officials and employees in Bukidnon who are using illegal drugs, most of them from prominent families. He said they, too, are placed under surveillance subject of their future operations.
The videos showed eight persons in pot session, some of them in city government office uniform and were videoed during office hours, the PDEA official added. But he said the video footages were taken in an area that appears to be outside City Hall compound.


PDEA Bukidnon refused to reveal the names of the suspects referring reporters to the city government. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)


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