New ‘narcolist’ has 11,000 cops
PRESIDENT Duterte is standing by the credibility of his “narcolist” despite admitting to making a big blunder in naming former Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. and two other former provincial officials as illegal drug protectors without first verifying his information.
In a press conference before his departure for a state visit to Vietnam, the President said that despite his glaring error, he would release a fresh set of names in his expanding drug matrix of government officials protecting drug lords.
“It is my duty to tell the nation what is happening,” he said.
“When I return, I will have one session with media and read my list. It has some judges, congressmen, mayors, a lot of barangay captains, the police, and one or two from the military,” he added.
Mr. Duterte said his latest narcolist would reflect the extent of the country’s drug scourge, affecting 92 percent of all barangays with 11,000 policemen and 16,000 barangay captains involved.
He said there was no stopping his disclosure of drug coddlers because “it behooves upon me to tell you what is the truth and prevent something catastrophic.”
The President said that as a lawyer, he was aware that linking a person to drugs was nothing short of destroying his or his reputation.
When he realized his team made lapses in verifying their intelligence information a-gainst Espino, Pangasinan Administrator Rafael Baraan and Board Member Raul Sison, he had no choice but to own up to his mistake and make a public apology, three times.
“I will not pretend I’m perfect, I have so many faults in life. It is my duty if I commit wrong, I should apologize, that is the way to go in this world,” he said.
Lesson from apology
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said he hoped the executive branch would “learn” from its experience after Mr. Duterte’s apology.
“We make mistakes on a list containing a thousand names. There could be errors,” Pimentel said.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson called for an “immediate review of all the narcolists,” as he noted that “it goes without saying that the credibility of that list and all other narcolists involving other sectors for that matter have now become doubtful.”
“As I said, the President or any official making a classified document public is ill-advised and will not serve the purpose for which it was prepared,” Lacson said in a statement.
“A narcolist, just like an order of battle, is a product of an intelligence workshop and is disseminated only to personnel with the corresponding security clearance. Hence, making it public would not only warn those on the list—thus jeopardizing any ongoing intelligence operations—but also unnecessarily shame them or put their lives at risk. Having said that, it may also be unfair to those who may not be correctly tagged as committing the wrongdoings as described in the intelligence document,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Manny Pacquiao praised President Duterte for admitting to the mistake.
Sen. Leila de Lima said in a press conference: “President Duterte’s apology is a clear admission that there is really nothing in that ridiculous drug matrix that links me to the illegal drug trade. It is tragic that the highest official of the land has not only been fed lies and wrong information but also has listened to rumors and intrigues.” With reports from Christine O. Avendano and Tarra Quismundo
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