PDEA Director Derrick Arnold Carreon
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has confirmed that over 500 barangay officials are included in the government’s drug watch list.
However, the agency is not in favor of disclosing the list to the public contrary to the call of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG’s proposal to publicize the government’s drug watch list aims to guide the voters in line with the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on May 14.
Still, Director Derrick Arnold Carreon said PDEA acknowledges that it is not part of the police unit’s duty to release the drug watch list.
He added that it will only affect their investigation on local officials who have links in illegal drug trade and may possibly hint drug personalities to escape.
“If you’re going to release names of suspects prematurely, it will be inimical to the cause of law enforcement. Hindi po trabaho ng law enforcement na maglabas ng pangalan (It is not the job of law enforcement to release names). Ang trabaho po namin ay magkalap ng ebidensya upang sa gayon ay mahuli po namin sila (Our job is to gather evidence for their arrest),” Carreon explained.
Instead of releasing the names of those involved in illegal drugs, PDEA reminds voters not to vote for local officials who they believe are involved in illegal drugs.
The agency also encourages election candidates to voluntarily undergo drug testing to prove that they are drug free.
“Tuwing eleksyon po hawak ng ating mga botante sa kanilang kamay ang kapangyarihan para hindi mailuklok ang kahit sinomang kandidato na may kinalaman sa iligal na gawain lalo na sa droga,” he said.
(During election, voters have in their hands the power to prevent from taking office any candidate who may be involved in illegal activities , especially drugs.)
However, the League of Barangays believes otherwise.
According to its national president Edmund Abesamis, there is nothing wrong in disclosing the list especially if it is has been validated and the involved local officials have been charged in court.
“Kung sinasabi na baka ma preempt ang ongoing investigation, then ibig sabihin hindi pa confirmed na talagang validated ito dahil may ongoing investigation pa,” Abesamis said.
(If they’re saying it may preempt ongoing investigations, then it means the list has not been validated yet because investigations are still in progress.) — UNTV News & Rescue