PNP chief OK with exposure of celebrities involved in illegal drugs
BENGUET, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde said Friday that he favors releasing the names of celebrities involved in illegal drugs.
Albayalde said that once validated, making public the government’s list containing the names of celebrities with drug links would be fair to those on the so-called “narcolist,” or the list of politicians suspected of being involved in the drug trade.
According to Albayalde, around 50 celebrities are on the drugs watch list of the PNP when he was director of the National Capital Region Police Office.
“Well ‘yung nangyari na nga dun sa narcolist eh bakit hindi mangyari doon sa iba? Just to be fair to everybody,” Albayalde told reporters after the command conference of Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) at Camp Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet.
(Well what happened to those on the narcolist, why can’t it happen to others? Just to be fair with everybody.)
“Baka sabihin naman nila bakit ‘yung nasa narcolist pinublish and yet ‘yung iba hindi. I think kung ginawa sa iba, then maging parehas tayo,” he said.
(Some people might ask why those names on the narcolist were publicized and yet the names of others were not. I think if it has been done to others, let us be fair.)
Albayalde earlier supported the disclosure of politicians on the narcolist ahead of the May 13 elections for the sake of the voters. On March 14, President Rodrigo Duterte identified 43 local officials and three congressmen, most of them running in midterm polls, on the narcolist.
Contrary to Albayalde’s opinion, however, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino initially said he does not want the list of celebrities with drug links released to the public.
Nevertheless, Albayalde leaves the decision on identifying celebrities into illegal drugs to PDEA.
But in a separate interview on Friday, Aquino said he will reveal the identities of celebrities linked to drugs if Duterte tells him to do so and once PDEA’s drug list has been verified.
Aquino previously said 31 celebrities are currently on its watch list, including 20 actors and 11 actresses. The list also reportedly includes a love team.
Aquino also earlier urged local television networks to conduct mandatory and surprise drug testing to its celebrities.
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