MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) revealed on Monday (November 12) that a total of 96 local government officials are likely to face charges involvement in illegal drugs trade.
According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, the agency is determined to recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the publication of his watch list of drug personalities especially since the midterm polls are about three months away.
The DILG together with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is continuously verifying the said list of so called narco-politcians.
In fact, Año said some of the personalities in the list can already be charged based on evidence acquired by the agency.
The Secretary confirmed it involves some active congressmen.
“Iba ibang level iyan, mayroong cuddling, merong nagto-tolerate, merong mismong involved,” Año said.
“Ang sabi ko nga, PDEA ang maglalabas niyan. Sa akin, we’ll recommend na ilabas natin,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero dared the agency to just release the list in the spirit of fairness.
“Kung talagang tiwala sila, kumpyansa sila na may basehan ang listahan na iyon, bakit di nila ilabas para hindi lahat ng local na opisyal, hindi lahat ng congressman ay pagdududahan na nasa listahan o baka nasa listahan. Oportunidad na rin iyon sa sinuman na mapapangalagaan na linisin ang pangalan niya at kasuhan ang sinumang PDEA o DILG na maglalagay ng pangalan doon na walang basehan,” Escudero argued.
The Senator said it is up to the people to decide if an election aspirant is credible enough to be voted for a government position. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)