LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – The youngest son of slain mayor Caesar Perez believes President Rodrigo Duterte can help them find justice as he expressed happiness when the President apologized for the inclusion of his father in the so-called "narco-list".
"Napakasaya namin dahil kini-clear niya yung pangalan ng aming ama (We are very happy because he is clearing the name of our father)," Aldous Perez said on Tuesday right after his dad's remains were brought to the municipal hall here.
In a pre-recorded address on Monday night, Duterte himself said sorry to the Perezes for what they thought was a mistaken inclusion of their patriarch among the top local officials who are allegedly engaging in illegal drug-related activities, although he reiterated that the list was a collection of intelligence reports from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the military, and the police.
"'Yung mga anak ni (The son of) Perez, first of all, I'm sorry that your father died in the way it happened. Pero kung sabihin mong may...'yang listahan na 'yan, hindi akin 'yan. It's a collation, lahat lahat na 'yan, (But if you will say.. that list, it’s not mine. It’s a collation) from intelligence report, sa mga (from) drug enforcement, at sa (and from) intelligence ng (of) military, police. It's a combination," Duterte said.
The Perezes and even at least some of the residents here have been reiterating that the slain mayor never engaged in such acts.
"Your father might be an exception. If you believe firmly that he was not guilty or liable of anything, it's good," said Duterte, who later insisted that his office was not behind the brutal murder of Perez on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, son Aldous believes that President Duterte can help them in their quest for justice.
"Ang akin pa ring hiling ay tulungan pa rin kami ng Presidente dahil ang laki ng tiwala ko sa Presidente na matutulungan kami na ma-resolba ang kaso na ito (My wish is for the President to help us because I have a huge trust that the President will help us resolve this case)," the younger Perez said.
He also thanked the people who went out of their homes to pay respect to his late father, who served this town for 19 years including his one-term stint as Laguna's vice governor.
"Talagang gigil na gigil yung tao. Masayang-masaya ang pamilya namin. Talagang humihingi ng hustisya at sumisigaw ang mamamayan ng Los Banos dahil sa nangyari. (The people are really furious. Our family is very happy. The citizens of Los Baños are really shouting and asking for justice for what happened)," Aldous said.
Thousands of people flocked the streets as the late mayor's funeral car traversed the long funeral march from his residence to the municipal hall. (PNA)