Duterte: Accused generals deserve an investigation
DAVAO CITY—After publicly naming the five police generals who are allegedly involved in the drug trade, President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte said they still deserve an investigation, apparently admitting that the evidence against them was still wanting.
“Itong mga (These police) generals. I am not condemning them. They deserve an investigation,” Duterte said during the Hariraya eid’l fitr celebration at the SMX convention center here on Friday night.
But the President said he has a sworn duty to let the people know what is happening in the country.
“I cannot wait. My oath of office, when I say “so help me God, the Allah,” I have the sworn duty to let you know kung ano ang nangyayari sa ating bayan (what is happening in our country). These are the things that I have to do because I’m the President,” he said.
All generals—Police Director Joel Pagdilao, Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot and retired Deputy Dir. Gen. Marcelo Garbo—have denied Duterte’s allegations. They said the President was fed with wrong information from the people who wanted to tarnish their names.
READ: Top cops deny drug links
Duterte’s move to “name and shame” the generals drew criticisms from some government officials, saying due process was violated as they should be presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
READ: Gaming the generals
Presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo, however, defended that Duterte’s naming of the police officials as protectors of drug syndicates before conducting an official investigation was not a violation of their right to due process.
Panelo said that due process meant allowing the generals to give their side of the accusation.
Duterte also revealed that some city and municipal mayors in his list of government officials linked to drugs came from Mindanao.
“I have the list, it includes police generals. Nandoon ‘yung mga municipal and city mayors. Meron ding nandito sa Mindanao. May mga Maranao sa listahan. May mga Bisaya, marami (Municipal and city mayors are on that list. Some of them come from Mindanao. There are Maranao and Visayans on that list too),” he said. IDL
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