6 LGU execs to be removed from ‘narco-list,’ says PDEA chief
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will recommend the removal of the names of five mayors and a vice mayor in the government’s so-called list of narco-politicians.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino revealed this Wednesday, as he noted 83 politicians are currently included on the list of government officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Originally, the list included 93 officials but Aquino said some of them were already arrested, killed, or have died of natural causes.
“We are about to clear five mayors and one vice mayor [out of the 83], and the rest will still be there,” he told reporters after PDEA gave cash rewards to tipsters and law enforcers of big-time anti-drug operations.
Aquino said the recommendation for the removal of the local executives from the list resulted from validation by a task force composed of PDEA, Philippine National Police, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
But PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said the task force’s power was “purely recommendatory” and its suggestions were subject to the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to Aquino, most of the names on the narco-list were coddlers of drug lords but added that some might have only tried to help their relative, who was arrested for a small amount of illegal drugs, to be released from jail.
“Kapag ganoon lang kaliit [ang involvement], ikukumpara mo sa isang mayor na talagang drug lord, eh di-ne-delist na lang namin iyon,” he said.
(So if his involvement is that minimal, if you will compare it with a mayor who is really a drug lord, we just delist him.)
He said the names of the six officials will be transferred to a “suspense file” for now.
“But kapag dumating ang panahon [na] na-monitor that he is doing some illegal acts, then we will bring him back doon sa narco-list,” Aquino said.
(But if the time comes that we monitor he is doing some illegal acts, then we will bring him back in the narco-list.)
Meanwhile, Aquino revealed PDEA is conducting adjudication process for other politicians in the list.
He also said PDEA still targets to publicize the narco-list after they get the green light from Mr. Duterte. /kga
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