Former Marawi City Mayor Omar Solitario Ali is asking his friend, President Rodrigo Duterte, not to believe claims that soliders found illegal drugs during a raid in his house last une 23.
“Some uniformed elements forcibly entered the radio station, planted five kilograms of illegal drugs and claimed they had seized it in the vice mayor’s (Arafat Salic) house. Two days before the raid on the radio station, they had produced 2 kilograms of drugs and claimed they got it from my old house in Bangon, which I had not used for seven years,” said Ali.
“For the past two or three years, the house was being used as a madrasah school by a Turkish group. The raiding party took a plaque of appreciation that had been given to me from the house, and dumped it with the drugs to suggest that the drugs also belonged to me,” he added.
Arafat Salic lives in the same house as his brother, former Marawi Mayor Sultan Fahad Salic, who was arrested last June 7 in Misamis Oriental and charged with rebellion for the Maute terror attack in Marawi.
Fahad is married to a cousin of Omar and Abdullah Maute who led the attack in Marawi.
The Philippine National Police has branded the Salic brothers as drug lords of Mindanao.
Ali was aware that proving his accusers wrong was next to impossible.
“Who can contradict them now that Marawi is deserted, and they are in effective control of all the empty homes inside the ghost city?” asked Ali
In a previous speech, Duterte bared a conversation he had with Salic during the Marawi siege. “Solitario called me up Son of a bitch, what’s up with you? Are you a friend of government or are we enemies? I said: ‘(Defense Secretary Delfin) Lorenzana wants you arrested. Son of a bitch, I will really have you killed’,” said Duterte.
Duterte advised Salic to make himself scarce because he could be arrested and killed. He also advised Salic to talk to Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza. Duterte said he would only talk to Ali if he proved that he has no hand in the Marawi siege.
Ali blamed his political rivals for pinning him and his brothers as drug lords and backers of Maute terrorists.
“The unfair and unjust treatment that my brother, the other members of my family and I have received from some of our politicians is rather unfortunate, but I do not take it against the President, and it has not diminished one bit my desire to be of service to this government,” said Ali.
Ali, a former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighter, said he was shocked to hear the President himself calling him a “drug protector” on primetime TV.
“I was shocked, but could neither talk nor cry. No matter how insignificant, I did help President Duterte. I could not help asking myself, did I deserve to be treated this way?” said Ali, a member of the Partido Demokratikong Pilpino Lakas ng Bayan who was among those who convinced Duterte to run for president.
With the help of 15 “ large ulama and other Muslim religious organizations”; Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao and Archbishop Emeritus Ramon Arguelles of Lipa; and their common friend Dureza, Ali said Duterte, through Dureza, eventually admitted his mistake in including his name among suspected drug personalities. Ali said Dureza made him a consultant at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).