Narco-politicians list to guide voters in May polls – Palace
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is supporting the proposed release of the narco-politicians’ list or the list of elected officials and candidates involved in the illegal drugs trade ahead of the May 2019 midterm elections.
“The idea of presenting a list by the DILG and PDEA is to tell the electorate on the kind of candidates that they will choose from and I think it will help them,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte would not oppose the release of the narco-politicians’ list.
“Well, the President if you recall had already released that list. So logically, he will not oppose that,” he said.
Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon had opposed the release of the list, pointing out that politicians would be denied due process because of the release.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) also rejected the plan, saying that everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“From the point of view of the voters, it will also be unfair if you do not tell them exactly your investigation relative to those involved in the drug industry. And if they are elected and then suddenly their place is contaminated with drugs, they will blame the government, ‘why didn’t you tell us this, you have known this,” Panelo said.
The Palace official said politicians who are on the drug list could go to the court and contest the allegations against them.
“Now the fear that it may destroy the presumption of innocence, to my mind there is a judicial remedy for that: If you feel that you’ve been libeled, you can always go to the courts,” he said.
Panelo said government officials in charge of the narco-politicians’list were “risking their liberties.”
“The officials are risking also their liberties, kasi kapag napatunayan na siniraan lang nila eh makukulong din naman sila. So hindi mo rin sila masisisi, ang feeling nila duty nila iyon. So they’re risking their liberties also,” he said.
In a speech in 2016, Duterte said he has a list of mayors, congressmen, police officials, and judges involved in the illegal drugs trade. / gsg
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.