Escudero backs release of names of officials linked to drugs
Sen. Francis Escudero on Monday said that he saw no need to keep the list of public officials with alleged drug links under wraps if there was evidence to back it, and that releasing the names would lift the shadow of suspicion from other officials.
Escudero supported the recommendation of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año that the so-called narcolist be made public to guide voters in next year’s midterm elections.
In an interview with reporters at the Senate, Año said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency should release the list, once approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Año said there were 96 names on the list, including members of the House of Representatives.
He said he was “inclined to believe” that there was a basis for their listing, as the list was regularly checked.
“We want the people to know what kind of officials they are voting for,” Año said.
In a separate interview with reporters, Escudero said the list should have been released earlier.
“If [authorities] really believe and are confident that it has basis, why don’t they release it so that not everyone would be suspected of being [there],” Escudero said.
But the listing of officials should be backed by evidence that the officials themselves could scrutinize, he said.
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