Duterte names ‘narco politicians’; DILG charges 46 execs before the Ombudsman

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Davao City (March 14) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday released the government’s list of 46 politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs ahead of the May midterm polls.

Duterte named over 40 local officials, including Daanbantayan Vice Mayor Vicente Loot and and Iloilo Mayor Jed Mabilog whom he previously tagged as involved in the drug trade. Both have denied the President’s allegations.

In a speech before the National Peace and Order Council meeting here, Duterte read the names on the narco-list and said the Department of the Interior and Local Government has filed administrative cases against the local officials before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Aside from Loot and Mabilog , also named by Duterte as narco-politicians are Representatives Jesus Celeste (Pangasinan) and Jeffrey Khonghun (Zambales); and Mayors Ferdinand Aguinaldo (Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte), Marjorie Salazar (Lasam, Cagayan), Jefferson Khonghun (Subic, Zambales), Erlon Agusin (Camiling, Tarlac), Cipriano Violago Jr. (San Rafael, Bulacan), Eulalio Larry Alilio (Lemery, Batangas), Raul Palino (Teresa, Rizal), Cecilio Hernandez (Rodriguez, Rizal), Loreto Amante (San Pablo, Laguna), Juan Toreja (Ibaan, Batangas), Roderick Alcala (Lucena City), and San Fernando Cebu Vice Mayor Fralz Sabalones.

Around 82 politicians supposedly have links to illegal drugs, as of March 5, according to the data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the 46 “narco politicians” 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.

Duterte explained he does not want to hurt anyone by releasing the narco list, “I’m not really interested in releasing it before or after the elections because I don’t have the slightest intention to hurt anybody or to be the cause of a failure of the election of a certain one who wants to serve the public,” Duterte said.

The narco list is said to contain over 82 names of politicians supposedly involved in illegal drugs. The impending release happens amid dissent from several government agencies and officials, including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which has lead role in the government’s war on drugs.

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.-editha z. caduaya/NewsLine.ph

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