Governor Jose Alvarez has challenged Narra mayor Gerandy Danao to clear his name over allegations about his involvement in illegal drugs.

During an event at the Capitol on Wednesday when two barangays of Narra were certified as “drug-cleared”, Alvarez took a potshot at Danao who had previously been included in the drug list of the police.

“Gusto kong sabihin mo dito sa marami kung may katotohanan ba na nasangkot ka sa droga, either user ka or napadpad lang. Gusto kong malaman dito sa meeting natin ang totoo,” Alvarez said.

Danao, a first-term mayor, was one of only two local mayoralty candidates in Palawan who won over the local ticket of Alvarez in the 2018 elections.

He has also been facing pressure from the local leadership to allow the operation of a coal-fired power generating plant in his town.

Alvarez said he had previously confronted Danao about his alleged drug involvement.

“Although sinabi mo na sa akin, pero mas maganda na sabihin mo sa madla, first hand, kung totoong ikaw ay gumamit o hindi, sabihin mo,” he said.

Responding to the governor’s challenge, Danao, claimed he had been mistakenly placed on the drug list after he represented his mother in a previous summon at the municipal hall.

He said that at the time when drugs surrenderees were called to the municipal hall of Narra, her mother Josefina Danao, who was then the barangay chairman of Panacan II, requested him to represent her.

He said he was surprised to find out later that his name was already included in the list of drug surrenderees.

Danao said he was shocked when he was summoned by the municipal local police because he was on the list. He allegedly told P/Capt. Dhayrius Redondo, the former chief of police, that he was not a drug user.

Danao said he only drinks alcohol, but he is not an illegal drug user.

“Lasinggero po talaga ako, aaminin ko. Pero wala akong kinalaman sa drugs, wala ako dyan, malinis po ako,” he said.

Alvarez said he wanted Danao to clear his name personally after rumors spread that he is on the illegal drugs list.

“May mga bagay kasi na gusto ko manggaling sa bibig mo mismo para matanggal na ang haka-haka na ikaw ay gumagamit,” he said.

In a separate interview with Danao, he said that Redondo and P/Maj. Romerico Remo of the provincial drug enforcement unit can testify that he has no drug involvement. He also said he was linked to drugs but no evidence was found and no case was filed against him.

Danao said he has no comment against those who spread the rumors linking him to drugs as long as he knows that he is drug-free.

He also challenged them to take the drug test with him if they want to prove he is not a drug user.

“Kung gusto nilang sabay magpa-drug test lalabanan ko sila kahit anong oras. Ako naman maayos lang ako wala tayong problema kahit saan mapunta,” he said.

Danao said that he already took the test before the May 2019 elections and showed it to the Narranons.

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Jayra Joyce Cañete Taboada handles the law and order and the science and education beats. She is also a licensed professional teacher.