PDEA to keep barangay drugs watch list in Central Visayas confidential
CEBU CITY – Amid calls from the local poll body, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) will not make public the names of barangay officials who are on their drugs watch list.
PDEA-7 spokesperson Leia Albiar said they were still validating the participation of half of the 563 village officials in the country who were named on their list.
“We can’t disclose the list since it is premature to do so. If someone has the authority to do it, it is the President,” she said in a press conference on Wednesday.
Officials of the Commission on Elections in Central Visayas recently urged the PDEA-7 to release the names of village officials who were on the drugs list to guide voters who to vote or to pass up in the Barangay and Sangguniang sa Kabataan elections on May 14.
Albiar said revealing the names of local officials may violate their right to due process.
“The goal of law enforcement units is to arrest and prosecute drug personalities. If we disclose their names, they may lie low and momentarily stop their illegal operations,” she said.
Albiar appealed to the public to vote wisely and to avoid accepting money from candidates in exchange for their votes.
He also warned barangay officials, who were into illegal drugs, to stop their operations or they would regret the consequences of their actions.
“Don’t ever think you’re free. We are monitoring you and we subject you to an operation once we get enough evidence against you,” she said.
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