THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will pursue charges against the winning candidates in the 2019 national midterm elections who were included in the government’s list of politicians involved in illegal drugs.
“Kahit na pinalad silang manalo, tuloy pa rin ang administrative cases laban sa kanila. Hindi pa rin sila makakalusot kung sila ay mapapatunayang sangkot talaga sa iligal na droga,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.
On March, President Rodrigo Duterte identified 46 politicians allegedly involved in the illegal drugs operations.
The list includes 35 mayors, seven vice-mayors, one provincial board member and three members of the House of Representatives.
The DILG then filed 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 against the 46 politicians before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Año said of the 46 politicians, 37 sought re-election but only 27 were re-elected.
The list of winning narco-politicians include two congressmen, one vice-governor, 18 mayors, three vice-mayors, one councilor and one board member from Calabarzon, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Eastern Visayas, Ilocos Region, Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas, Central Luzon, Zamboanga Peninsula, Soccksargen, and Caraga.
Año said it was already “a win” for the government and the nation that some of them were rejected by the electorate which was the main goal of Duterte when he revealed the names of the narco-politicians.
“The purpose of President Duterte in releasing the names was to inform the public of the local officials who are linked to the drug trade. The fact that some of them lost is already a substantial victory for us because if we didn’t release the names, more, if not all, could have won the election,” he said.
Aside from administrative charges, Año said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Group is also leading the investigation in order to gather evidences for the filing of criminal charges against these politicians.