THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Western Visayas won’t issue a comment yet on the list of the so called narco-politicians in Western Visayas.
“I know that most of you would like to hear statements/reactions from PDEA 6 regarding the recent pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte pertaining to the alleged narco-politicians, especially those coming from Western Visayas,” said PDEA-Western Visayas director Alex Tablate.
However, because of the magnitude of the issue, Tablate said his agency was informed by the national headquarters that the official statement from PDEA will be released by the head office.
The alleged narco-politicians from Western Visayas mentioned by Duterte were Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Escalante Mabilog; Maasin, Iloilo Mayor Mariano Malficio Malones Sr.; Hamtic, Antique Mayor Julius Ronald Leyritana Pacificador; Culasi, Antique Vice Mayor Ariel Tabugo Alagos Jr.; and Siegfredo Alfuente Betita alias “Salagunting” or “Onting” of Carles, Iloilo.
So far, no politicians in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City were mentioned by Duterte.
“We, from PDEA 6, will be anticipating also this press release and once the same is already available, we will immediately inform themedia for your immediate consumption,” Tablate assured the Negros Occidental press.
Duterte released another list of politicians allegedly involved in illegal drug trade in the country, ahead of the May 13 midterm elections.
Duterte made public the government’s narco-list during the National Peace and Order Council meeting in Davao City on Thursday night.
In his speech, Duterte said the list, which contains the names of alleged narco-politicians, was vetted and validated by authorities.
“Since my assumption in 2016, I have committed to eradicate the drug problem. I have done that. My decision to unmask these drug personalities was anchored on my trust in the government agencies which have vetted and validated the narco-list,” Duterte said.
“The Department of Interior and Local Government has filed administrative cases against themat the Office of the Ombudsman,” he added.
The DILG has been pushing for the release of the narco-list to serve as a guide for voters in the upcoming May polls.
But the Commission on Human Rights opposed the release of the list, warning that it may lead to more election-related violence ahead of the May 13 midterm polls.