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Walden Bello is a narco-politician —HNP

The regional party of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte accused  former lawmaker Walden Bello of being a “narco-politician” following his allegations that Davao City is the center of drug trade in the southern Philippines.

The Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) on Monday said it was alarmed by Bello’s recent remarks saying it is taking the information “seriously” as a political group with incumbent members who “want to strengthen our coordination with law enforcement agencies fighting the proliferation of prohibited drugs.”

Both Duterte and Bello are contenders for the vice presidency.

In the debates organized by the Commission on Elections for vice presidential bets over the weekend, Bello claimed Davao City is the "drug center" of the south.

"Davao as the drug center of the south under the control of a member of a Duterte family. My god, this is something... we need to bring this out so that the people can examine the record of Sara Duterte," Bello had said.

The HNP questioned why Bello “deliberately” withheld the crucial information from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police saying it made him a narco-politician “in a way”.

With this, the party said it has requested an investigation into the “extent” of the ex-legislator’s knowledge and involvement in the alleged illegal drug trade in the city.

“As a vice presidential candidate in a narco-politics, as someone who knowingly and purposely refused to disclose information or cooperate with the authorities, Mr. Bello has just presented himself as a danger to peace and order and a threat to the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the government,” the party said.

GMA News Online reached out to Bello for his reaction but has yet to get a response as of posting time.—LDF, GMA News