The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas flatly denies the recent news report in the Daily Tribune newspaper claiming it has cleared the Ong political family in Northern Samar of involvement in illegal drugs. “The NDF-EV has not cleared key members of the Ong dynasty as claimed in the Daily Tribune, and these are rather still being investigated as suspected drug lords,” said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas. “These include Northern Samar Gov. Jose Ong, Jr., the former congressman Emil Ong, and the latter’s son who is an incumbent congressman, Edwin Ong. This false report in the Daily Tribune appears to be part of the Ongs’ well-funded media campaign since June to cover up their criminal activities, in light of the long-running exposes by NDF-EV and the Duterte regime’s own anti-drugs campaign.
“It should be noted that Laoang Mayor Hector Ong, brother of Emil and Jose, has already been accused of narco trafficking by the Duterte government along with his wife Madeline.”
Fr. Salas also said the Ong brothers seem to be so desperate they would dare to manufacture a false report about the NDF-EV clearing them, along with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). “It is very curious why the Ongs would go to the extent of using the NDF-EV and PDEA in the same breath to clear their names. Such a public relations campaign also means spending a lot of money. Why would the Ongs go to that extent, even using NDF-EV, if they are indeed innocent and if they have nothing to fear from the Duterte government? Is it because they can no longer convince the public of PDEA’s vouchng for them especially after a PDEA agent was arrested for peddling drugs in Catbalogan, and the agency’s regional heads are also being reorganized over fears of their links to drug lords such as in Region 6?”
The NDF-EV spokesperson called on the Duterte government to go after and punish drug lords like the Ongs instead of tolerating a war against the poor through the extrajudicial killings of drug users and pushers. “There are small-time drug addicts and pushers because of grinding poverty, which they so desperately wish to escape even to the extent of involvement in illegal drugs. As long as the Duterte regime go only after these small fry, the killings will never end, especially because the regime itself has remained silent on land reform, national industrialization and other basic socio-economic reforms. And how sure are we that the police and military are not going on this killing spree to cover up their own involvement in illegal drugs and to protect their criminal turfs? So long as big drug lords are treated leniently while drug victims who are poor are harshly treated and murdered, Duterte’s so-called war on drugs will never end and the poor will never be uplifted, especially without any peace talks to discuss socio-economic reforms.”
National Democratic Front of the Philippines Eastern Visayas