Councilor says he is not in hiding

“I AM not missing. I’m on leave.”

This was the statement of Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. after he missed several council sessions after he was tagged in the shipment of P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs in the country.

Abellera explained that he was on leave as his physician advised him to rest for two to four weeks. He also said that he filed the necessary documents, which were approved by the council.

The name of the councilor was dragged into the anomalous shipment after customs fixer Mark Ruben Taguba II said that he met Abellera in Davao City where the latter asked him to pay P5 million so he could seek protection from Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, the son of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Abellera surfaced at the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on Aug. 30 and denied the allegations of Taguba after skipping the inquiry last Aug. 29.

Meanwhile, Abellera also said that he accepted the decision of the council which replaced him as chair of the peace and order and public safety committee.

“The chairmanship and membership of a committee is a decision of the body…and I will abide on it,” Abellera said.

On Sept. 26, he was replaced by Councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta as the new committee chair after majority of the body approved a privileged motion to declare the vacancy of the position proposed by Majority Floorleader Bernard Al-ag.

Al-ag also declared all positions occupied by Abellera vacant, including the vice chairmanship of committees on public works and barangay affairs and membership in committees on tourism and beautification, games and amusement, and finance ways, means, and appropriations.

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