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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

QC lawmaker refutes video identifying him as drug lord
Writer: Lorelei V. Castillo, Media Affairs and Public Relations Service
19 July 2016 09:19:06 AM

Rep. Alfredo Vargas III (5th District-Quezon City) today lambasted the people behind a birthday party video identifying him as big time drug lord Herbert “Ampang” Colangco.

The video, which has gone viral, showed Senator Leila De Lima singing at her birthday party while a voiceover is narrating that the senator was singing for one of her alleged protected big time drug lords. At the background, however, is not Colangco but Vargas.

“I just want to make it clear that it was me in that video and not Mr. Herbert Colangco. I had sore eyes during that time so I had to wear sunglasses and could not properly shake hands with everybody,” Vargas said.

Vargas said he was invited by De Lima to attend her birthday being part of the Liberal Party slate in the May 2016 elections.

“I was at Senator Leila De Lima’s birthday party last year at the DOJ quadrangle as a guest. It was a simple case of mistaken identity, perhaps because the video was blurred,” Vargas said.

The lawmaker called on netizens to be careful in making big assumptions like this and be more discerning in forwarding videos that come from unknown sources.

Colangco is a convicted robbery gang leader who has been serving time at the maximum-security compound since 2009.

He had been tagged in several bank robberies in Metro Manila since the early 2000s. Police said the Colangco gang had also worked together with other notorious crime syndicates like the Waray-Waray and Ozamis robbery groups.

“Ampang”, is a title given to Colangco as a label for respect similar to the Ilocano “Apo” or to the Bicolano’s “Manoy.”

Two years ago, Colangco got the attention of the public because he became an artist inside the national penitentiary with television networks calling him “Bilibid Idol.”

Colangco even received a Platinum Certification in his album Kinabukasan, produced by Ivory Records, which according to him did not expect that he would receive that award.