PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte released on Thursday, March 14, a new list of politicians allegedly involved in illegal drug operations.
The list includes three representatives, 33 mayors, seven vice mayors, one former mayor, and one board member.
"My decision to unmask these drug personalities was anchored on my trust in the government agencies who have vetted and validated the narco-list," the President said in his speech.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government filed administrative cases against the officials at the Office of the Ombudsman on the same day that the list was released.
So what happens now after the list is released and cases are filed against them?
There will definitely be denials from the alleged narco-politicians. Whether they are involved or not, they will woo their voters and constituents with their charm and their words telling them that they are not involved in the illegal drug trade.
With the Duterte administration's fight against illegal drugs, the government and congress must consider crafting or amending existing laws on the qualifications of those who are running for office. Public officials running for office should be disqualified to run again.
The Office of the Ombudsman must also act fairly and cleanly in resolving these cases. The office must stand its ground against possible attacks from the alleged narco-politicians. There will definitely be attacks against them as they look into these cases.
Meanwhile, with the upcoming midterm elections in May, the public must take into account the narco-list. Maybe it is time to re-elect someone who has much cleaner slate than those accused.
Sadly, with how politics work in the country, our "utang na loob" culture, and the gullibility of some voters, some, if not all, of these alleged narco-politicians, whether they are truly involved or not, will still be elected to their post.