64 bets for re-election are narco-list: PDEA
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino on Tuesday said 68 local re-electionist candidates are in the government’s narco-politicians list.
Aquino said after their revalidation, the number of politicians involved in illegal drugs are down to 82 after a mayor in Maguindanao was arrested for murder and illegal possession of firearms charges.
“They filed their COC’s (Certificate of Candidacy) and the remaining 18 decided not ( to file),” Aquino told reporters at PDEA headquarters in Quezon City.
Aquino denied the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo saying they will release the narco list next week.
“First, it’s not true that PDEA will release it. First and foremost, I will still remain on my stand… since the first time I don’t want the list to be revealed or disclosed,” he said.
The PDEA chief said this has been his statement even before the start of filing of COC’s.
“But again, if it will be ordered by the President Rodrigo Duterte that this list will be reveal then I should abide with him,” he said, adding the authority was given to the Department of Interior and Local Government.
“It’s up to the SILG (Secretary Eduardo Ano) if he will reveal it or not but the one Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo is saying that it will be reveal next week, I really don’t have any idea...I don’t have any order,” Aquino added.
Aquino said he had a brief meeting with Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman Catalino Cuy and Ano last Monday.
“The meeting was brief but the only thing I’ve said is that ‘Sir as of now, if there is an instruction to reveal or disclose the list I can’t do it right now because we haven’t finished our revalidation of all the narco politicians,” he said.
If it will be really ordered to release the list, Aquino hope they can finish the revalidation.
Aquino said based on his experience, he choose to work silently and file necessary cases once they find enough evidence.
“As I said, I just want to work silently. If I have evidence, file necessary charges. But I think we will file administrative cases, we will sit down, all agencies and will file administrative charges,” he said.
DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya in a text message to The Daily Manila Shimbun said they are still revalidating the list and hoping to release the list to the public before the start of the campaign period this month.
“We hope to be able to release it to the public next week,” said Malaya.
For the Philippine National Police, releasing the narco list does not mean persons in the list will be killed.
PNP spokesperson, Police Col. Bernard Banac said in a TV interview, the narco list is not equivalent to a “death list”.
Malacanang said President Rodrigo Duterte's approval is not needed if the Department of Interior and Local Government wants to release the names of those in the "narco-list."
"The President has already released that list so logically, he will not oppose that," Panelo said. Ella Dionisio/DMS