‘PDEA list not invented, meant to guide voters’
Presidential spokesperson and chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the release of the names of local officials implicated in drug trading might be warranted to inform voters ahead of the 2019 midterm elections.
“The sole purpose of releasing such lists is for voters to be informed of the personalities involved in destroying or ravaging our nation through facilitating the proliferation of dangerous drugs in our societies,” Panelo said in a statement.
He said the so-called narcolist was not invented by law enforcement agencies, including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), but was “based on intelligence reports which underwent a series of comprehensive assessments.”
The PDEA has announced that the so-called narcolist identifies 85 politicians, including mayors and vice mayors, vice governors and governors, and House members.
“The public can thus be assured that these lists are credible and not propaganda tools to taint the characters of candidates,” Panelo said.
On Monday, Dangerous Drugs Board Chair Catalino Cuy said the release of the names of politicians implicated in drug trafficking would guide voters.
At least two senators have expressed reservations about the plan to release the list.
“At this time when election is coming, it may be used for other purposes. There is the other perspective that it may be used to attack others … What if the list is not validated?” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said. —DJ YAP
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