Duterte unmasks alleged narco-politicians
President Rodrigo Duterte disclosed on Thursday the names of 46 local officials, including three congressmen, who were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
In a speech during the National Peace and Order Council meeting in Davao City, Duterte said the names included in the so-called narco-list were vetted and validated by the concerned agencies.
"Since my assumption in 2016, I have committed to eradicate the drug problem. I’ve done that. My decision to unmask these drug personalities was anchored on my trust in the government agencies who have vetted and validated the narco-list," he said.
He said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has filed administrative cases against those in the narco-list on Thursday before the Office of the Ombudsman.
"The Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Presidential [Anti]-Corruption Commission conduct their respective investigations; the results of which will aid us in filing airtight cases against them," Duterte said.
"Remember that 'public office is a public trust'; an official’s right to privacy is not absolute and there is a compelling reason to prioritize the interest of the state and the people," he explained.
"As your President, my ultimate concern is the pursuit of order in government and the welfare of the Filipino people. My administration assures you of our dedication to change the lives of Filipinos now, not tomorrow," Duterte added.
In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the initial list of “narco pols” facing charges before the Ombudsman were provided by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The initial list released to the public by the President includes 35 mayors, seven vice-mayors, one provincial board member, and three members of the House of Representatives.
No local officials from Metro Manila were in the list.
Año said the 46 “narco pols” are facing administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and gross neglect of duty.
He said the involvement of the respondents to illegal drugs was evaluated and judiciously validated by the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) chaired by PDEA in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), among others.
ICAD, which was created under Executive Order No. 15, consists of several government agencies tasked to oversee and synchronize government efforts to combat the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. DILG is one of the member-agencies of ICAD. Celerina Monte/DMS