PDEA chief favors releasing verified list of celebrities linked to drugs
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino is in favor of releasing the list of celebrities linked to the illegal drugs trade, provided that it is validated and if President Rodrigo Duterte orders him to do so.
“Basta unang-una [kung] utos ng Presidente, kung inutusan ako ng Presidente i-rerelease ko,” he said in a phone interview on Friday, March 29. “I think pwede siguro nating i-release once validated and confirmed.”
(First if the President orders me to release it, I will release it… I think we can release it once validated and confirmed.)
In a television interview on Thursday (March 28), Aquino said he does not want to publicize the names of celebrities in the watchlist, but on Friday, he clarified that he will do so if the stated conditions are present.
The PDEA’s drugs watchlist includes 31 celebrities. It has 20 actors and 11 actresses, including a love team likely in their 20s. The list, however, is still up for validation.
Aquino said the PDEA is prioritizing the narcolist first, where more names of politicians are poised to be added, before his agency can validate the list of celebrities allegedly linked to illegal drug activities.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde also said he favors releasing the verified list, to be fair with the 46 politicians in the initial narcolist whose names were earlier announced by the President live on national television. /muf