Councilor Ricardo Tan (left) greets Mayor Evelio Leonardia during their meeting with officials of the Negros Occidental Football Association at the Bacolod City Government Center in October last year. (File photo from Bacolod City PIO)
BACOLOD CITY -- The Bacolod City councilor, tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte in the illegal drug trade, was unable to preside over the session of the City Council on Wednesday as he is still on leave, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran has said.
Familiaran, who sits as acting mayor after Mayor Evelio Leonardia left for the United States on Wednesday night, said on Thursday that instead of Councilor Ricardo “Cano” Tan, who is the number one councilor, it was Councilor Caesar Distrito who took over as acting vice mayor and presiding officer.
“Councilor Tan is still on leave. He still has vacation leave and sick leave credits left,” he added.
Last Sunday, Familiaran first confirmed that Tan was unable to attend the City Council sessions after he and his wife were ambushed on their way home last December 14.
On January 12, Tan was linked by Duterte in the illegal drug trade during his speech before an audience at the birthday party of a businessman here.
Reacting to the development on Sunday, Familiaran said the City Council is leaving to law enforcement agencies the action to take on the alleged involvement of Tan in illegal drugs.
He also said President’s pronouncement regarding the city councilor was a “shocking revelation.”
On Wednesday night, the President told the media in Manila that Tan was the drug lord being protected by sacked Bacolod Police chief Senior Supt. Francis Ebreo.
Malacañang said on Thursday that it will leave to investigators to probe Tan, who is already on the drug watch list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“The investigator will be doing that, not us,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
Duterte also tagged Ebreo as a “protector” of drug syndicates, recalling a time when the relieved police officer visited Tan in a hospital after he was ambushed. (PNA)