CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña warned that he will junk any barangay official allied with the Bando Osmeña Pundo Kauswagan (BOPK) if they will be included in the list of narco-politicians that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will release.
“Good. We will junk them if there will be a BOPK member. We will see what the basis is,” he said in a news conference yesterday, just two weeks before the barangay elections.
Osmeña said he supports the move of President Rodrigo Duterte to order the PDEA to release the names of the narco-politicians since it promotes transparency.
The mayor said the people deserve to know the truth.
“It’s an issue of transparency. People want to know so why don’t you let them know? Anyway they will have the chance to explain,” he said.
Osmeña said that he even challenged former justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to file a case in court when the latter implicated him in the illegal drug trade.
When asked about the conflict the move may cause, Osmeña said it’s inevitable because “it’s the essence of democracy.”
“That’s the way it is in democracy. Gubot gyod because in democracy, it’s a clash of ideas and accusations and it’s up to the people to weigh the truth,” he said.
Gov. Hilario Davide III, though, disagrees with the move and is opposed to naming the officials pending the filing of charges against them.
In an interview yesterday, Davide said that barangay officials included in the alleged narco-list should be given a chance to answer the allegations against them.
Davide said he only favors naming these officials if illegal drug charges are filed against them in court.
Provincial Board Member Celestino Martinez III agreed that officials involved in illegal drugs should be charged first before they are named. (RVC, JKV)