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Duterte not keen on exposing narco-politicians; DILG believes otherwise

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is not in favor of making public the list of political candidates being linked to illegal drugs or the so-called narco-politicians.

“No, I will not. It’s not a good policy to let know the — to telegraph your intention or what you know about the other fellow, especially in matters of breaking penal laws. No, I will not. We will not in government,” the President said when asked on the matter during a press briefing on Thursday (October 11).

But the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is determined to expose the names of the politicians also considered as drug personalities.

According to DILG Spokesperson Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, they are planning to provide the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with a copy of the narcolist and politicians with existing legal cases once the filing period ends on October 17.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is still validating and verifying the backgrounds of the names in the said narcolist.

The DILG, meanwhile, leaves the decision to the poll body to assess if the said narco-politicians are candidates for disqualification.

“We will leave it to the Comelec kasi nasa kanila na ngayon kung anong gusto nilang gawin doon. Basta kami as far as the DILG is concerned, we have this list. We will forward it to them and we will leave it to them how they will dispose of it,” said ASec. Malaya.

The DILG added that they would ask the permission of the Chief Executive to disclose the list should Comelec refuse to do so.

But as for the poll body, the matter is already in the agency’s law department for assessment,  and they plan to release the result next week.

“Kailangang may due process, di pwedeng dahil nasa listahan ka, disqualified ka agad. pangalawa, titingnan natin yung listahan kung under the rules, pwede ba natin silang i-disqualify,” said Comelec chair Sheriff Abas. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Alias ‘Bikoy’ should prove allegations to be credible — Malacañang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 23) refused to give its assessment on the credibility of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy following the retraction of his previous claims.

Advincula previously confessed as the man behind a series of narco-videos entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist” that linked President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to illegal drugs trade.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Advincula should submit first evidence that would prove his claims and allegations against the personalities he was implicating.

The Palace is leaving it up to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on what charges they will file against Advincula as consequences of his actions and for any violations of the law.

“We will have to wait for Bikoy or Advincula to substantiate his charges and after that we’ll see if there are charges to be filed in court then the truth will come out,” Panelo said.

“As I said repeatedly, no matter how you close, you cover, truth will always come out,” he added.

Malacañang, meanwhile, strongly denied the allegation of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who claimed that alias Bikoy’s retraction was another ploy by the Duterte administration to pin down the opposition.

“In the first place the opposition has been harassing this government, this administration. they are the ones sowing intrigues as we repeatedly said,” Panelo said.

Advincula surrendered to the police and revealed that everything he said in the videos were orchestrated by the Liberal Party (LP) and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Vice President Leni Robredo in a televised conference following Advincula’s surrender said all allegations is “unfair” to the opposition party.

“Napakaraming pangalan na nasambit. Ang Liberal Party once again (ay) nahila dito sa controversy. I can speak for the party. Wala kaming kinalaman dito sa Bikoy issue,” Robredo said.

“There were so many names mentioned. The Liberal Party was once again tagged in the controversy. I can speak for the party. We have nothing to do with this Bikoy issue.)

“Unfair na isali uli ang LP dito. Kung ito ay harassment, kung ito ay ginagawang paraan para lalong yurakan o tapakan ang Liberal Party o kaming nasa oposisyon, hindi ito magiging dahilan para magpatinag tayo, para huminto tayo sa pagpupuna kung may kailangang punahin,” she concluded.

(I find it unfair to again tag LP. If this is harassment to pull down the Liberal Party or the opposition, this will not be a reason for us to stop to criticize.) (with reports from Rosalie Coz) Marje Pelayo

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President Duterte also has a right to privacy—DOJ

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets members of Japan’s House of Councillors during their courtesy call together with Japan House of Councillors President Chuichi Date, at the Malacañan Palace on January 8, 2019. RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte also enjoys the right to privacy under the Constitution, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

In a text message, the Justice Secretary said the president will only be obligated to disclose his health to the public if he is suffering a serious illness.

“The Constitution requires the President to divulge any serious illness on his part. But if the illness is not serious enough to affect the discharge of his official functions, the President has no duty to inform anyone,” he said.

Guevarra added that if Duterte’s illness will not disrupt his duty as president, the he is not obligated to inform the public.

During the weekend, there were rumors circulating that President Duterte was confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center. However, on Sunday (May 19), former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go posted photos of him and President Duterte enjoying breakfast.

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27 alleged narco-politicians triumphed in last election – PNP

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is currently doing a case build up against 27 alleged narco-politicians who won in the recently concluded midterm elections.

According to PNP Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde, from a total of 47 names in the drugs watchlist of politicians, 37 filed their candidacy but only 27 succeeded in the election.

The winning list include several mayors and governors in Luzon.

Albayalde said he is leaving the case to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Sa Luzon meron. Dito lang sa Region 3 meron (at) sa Region4. Kilala ko ang mga nasa listahan. Alam ko ang mga pangalan nila. Alam ko nanalo ang mga iyon,” Albayalde said.

(There are some in Luzon, in Regions 3 and 4. I know those who are on the list. I know their names. I know they won.)

In case they have proven links to illegal drugs, appropriate charges will be filed against them.

“Continuous naman ang pag-iimbestiga sa kanila and as the SILG have said, kapag merong nakitang ebidensya laban sa kanila, we will file cases both criminal and administrative,” the PNP Chief added.

(Investigation is now ongoing and as the SILG have said, if there are evidence against them, we will file cases both criminal and administrative.)

Rampant vote buying

Albayalde, meanwhile, noted that aside from the P12 million cash authorities seized in anti vote-buying operations, candidates and supporters also distributed rice and eggs to lure voters.

READ: Over P12M seized from vote buying – PNP

The PNP chief said they were able to confiscate a total of 62 sacks of rice and 22 trays of eggs in different areas in Mindanao and Calabarzon Region.

“Wala sa kanilang umaamin kung saan nanggagaling, but we got election campaign material na doon sa specific candidates na iyon,” he said.

(No one would admit as to where the items came from but we got election campaign materials from that specific candidate.)

“But they deny na nanggaling doon sa mga kandidato na iyon at walang gustong magsabi whether the buyer or the seller kung sino or saan galing ang pera,” he added.

(But they deny that the items were from those [specific] candidates. No one, not the buyer nor the seller, wanted to admit where the items or cash came from.) – (with reports from Lea Ylagan) Marje Pelayo

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