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Duterte hits Mabilog’s lavish lifestyle

By GENALYN D. KABILING

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog managed to own a palace, “more grandiose” than Malacañang, due to his suspected involvement in illegal drugs, President Duterte said Sunday.

The President made the accusation after authorizing the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a lifestyle check on Mabilog.

“Mayor Mabilog’s house is more grandiose, a palace. It was because of drugs. Where else would he get the money from, his business?” Duterte said in the Visayan dialect during his visit to Davao City over the weekend.

“So I hope NBI, make sure you run lifestyle checks,” he said.

Compared to Mabilog’s large house, Duterte said Malacañang is “actually small.” “Don’t believe the hype. It’s not really a Palace honestly. It was just varnished,” he said.

The President observed that Mabilog enjoys lavish lifestyle, citing his recent escape to Japan amid a government probe on his wealth.

“They’ll say, ‘Those are only the poor’ (caught in anti-drug campaign) but the poor are the ones who will distribute.

It’s not the drug lords who will do that because they’re already very rich, just like Mabilog who has escaped to Japan and living luxuriously there,” he said.

Duterte earlier urged Mabilog to end suspected connections with the drug trade before it was too late. The mayor is among the public officials publicly named by President Duterte in his narcolist.

The President, meantime, maintained that he does not tolerate corruption in government, preferring a simple lifestyle for officials. He said he considers himself a “worker of government,” not an official with special privileges.

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