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2nd narco list unlikely out before polls – PDEA

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 3/22/2019 Romina Cabrera
a man standing in front of a store: 2nd narco list unlikely out before polls – PDEA © PDEA FB Page 2nd narco list unlikely out before polls – PDEA

MANILA, Philippines — The names of 20 to 30 more local executives included in President Duterte’s narco list will most likely not be released before the midterm elections, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said yesterday.

According to PDEA chief Aaron Aquino, validation of government agencies on the alleged involvement of these local officials in illegal drugs is still ongoing and would not be finished before the May 13 polls.

“More or less nasa 30 ang kailangan pang i-revalidate, if you ask me gano katagal… Malabo na ma-release before elections,” Aquino said in a phone interview. 

He said law enforcement agencies are still validating the other local officials accused of involvement in drugs after President Duterte named 46 alleged narco politicians earlier this month.

Aquino added they are still checking the level of involvement of the yet-to-be named officials.

He said this is one of the reasons why he was hesitant in revealing the names as it would only be a “partial list.”

According to Aquino, eight local officials have been removed from the narco list.

“They are considered civilians because they are former officials and have not filed certificates of candidacy for the elections,” he said.

The head of the anti-narcotics agency vouched for the accuracy of the narco list, saying it has nothing to do with politics.

Aquino said he did not attend the workshops as he left it to the ground teams to validate the information for over 14 months. 

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has filed administrative charges against the officials named in the narco list, which included three members of the House of Representatives, 35 mayors, seven vice mayors and one provincial board member. 

IBP: Don’t shame judges on drug list

Meanwhile, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) supports the prosecution of judges and prosecutors involved in the illegal drug trade, but it is against public shaming.

IBP national president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo made the statement after the PDEA disclosed that 13 judges and 10 prosecutors are included in the narco list.

Fajardo said they would not stop law enforcement agencies from going after these judges and prosecutors.

“We encourage law enforcement operatives to spare no one, not even lawyers, prosecutors or judges who are into drugs,” he said.

Fajardo, however, said the government should not publicly shame judges and prosecutors involved in drugs.

“File cases against them before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Department of Justice or the Supreme Court if evidence warrants,” he said. – With Evelyn Macairan

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