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50 more pols in PRRD narco-list up for validation: DILG

AFTER REVEALING 46 names of local politicians involved in various illegal drug activities, President Rodrigo R. Duterte is set to expose 50 more politicians who are currently under validation.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said the 50 names are the ones that were not read by the President during the joint National and Regional Peace and Order Council meeting here Thursday evening.

Año said there are actually 96 names of local government officials in the narco-list, 46 of which were already revealed by the President.

“Yung iba under validation kaya meron pang susunod dyan na i-release ng Pangulo (Others are still under validation so more will be released by the President),” he said.

According to Año, validation began in 2017.

“Their (officials’) involvement is varied – may protector, may coddlers, yung iba involved talaga (there are protectors and coddlers, others are really involved),” he said.

Año said some of the politicians in the list have been dismissed.

“Others are still under suspension, pero sinama na rin namin dahil pwede pa silang tumakbo (Others are still under suspension but we have included them in the list because there is no finality yet from the courts and the Office of the Ombudsman on their cases so they can still run),” he added.

Año clarified that all 46 politicians named by the President are incumbent officials, but four of them are not seeking re-election.

Of the 46 officials in the narco-list, 35 are mayors, seven are vice mayors, three are members of the House of Representatives, and one is a provincial board member.

Año said the DILG has already filed complaints against the 46 officials.

Duterte said his decision to reveal the names of the 46 officials was anchored on his trust in the government agencies that have vetted and validated the list.

The President reminded fellow government officials that “public office is a public trust.”

An official’s right to privacy, he said, is not absolute and there is a compelling reason to prioritize the interest of the state and the people.

“As your President, my ultimate concern is the pursuit of order in government and the welfare of the Filipino people. My administration assures you of our dedication to change the lives of Filipinos now, not tomorrow,” he said.

On the remaining names, Duterte said, “I just want to be doubly sure.”

The President stressed that he was not interested in releasing it before or after the elections because “I do not have the slightest intention to hurt anybody or to be a cause of the failure of an election of a certain man who wants to serve the public.”(By Lilian Mellejor)

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