Drug raps ‘old issue, black propaganda’ – Celeste
DAGUPAN CITY – First district Rep. Jesus Celeste bewailed his inclusion in the list of those involved in illegal drugs, saying it was a “black propaganda” used against him and his brothers when they were rising in Pangasinan’s political arena.
“Nakakalungkot (it is saddening). But we will face the accusations. If needed, we will ask for an audience with President Duterte to explain that we were victims of black propaganda that we were involved in drugs,” Celeste said.
“How can we get involved in drugs when my wife refused to sell even cigarettes in our establishments?” he said.
Celeste was listed as mayor, but he has been the congressman for three terms, and the list could have been based on an old list when he and his brothers were branded as drug lords by their political opponents way back in 2001.
“It was an old issue that was never proven as there was nothing to prove. It was only used against us by our political opponents. It was a political propaganda to stop us from winning the elections,” he said.
Celeste, who served as Bolinao mayor for three terms before he was elected as congressman, said the issue was raised by their political rivals in 2001 when he was running for his second term as mayor and his brother, now Alaminos Mayor Arthur Celeste, was running for congress in the first district.
“In 2001, our political opponents spread black propaganda that we were drug lords. The following elections, they did not spread the rumors about drugs. They used black propaganda that we were smugglers and worst, murderers,” he said.
Celeste explained that when he first sat as mayor, he “cleaned the town” which was branded as “wild west.”
“I even used President Duterte’s ‘techniques’ in getting rid of bad elements in my town in six months,” he said.
“We supported the President’s war against drugs, asking drug pushers and users to surrender. We even have a plan for their rehabilitation. I have a new grandchild and we were happy that he was born at a time when our country is hopefully being rid of illegal drugs. So how can they accuse us of drug involvement?” he said.
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