By Aaron Recuenco
Retired General Eduardo Año, officer-in-charge of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) expressed full support on the move to make public all the barangay officials who are connected with illegal drugs operations ahead of the elections scheduled next month.
Año said he does not see anything wrong with publishing the names of the barangay officials since public safety and the voter’s right to know are more important than the expected human rights violation claims of those who are included in the so-called narco-list.
“The voters must know the truth about their candidates. Everyone must be accountable for himself and for what he did in the past especially if he is running for a public position,” said Año in a text message to reporters.
Hundreds of barangay officials are reportedly on the narco-list of President Duterte. Earlier, he tasked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to release the names.
The PNP has been at the forefront of the intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
In its security assessment, it did not discount the possibility of the use of drug money in the election of barangay candidates.
‘Let the voters decide. I don’t think its persecution. I trust PDEA,” said Año.
Nevertheless, there were no charges filed so far against almost all of the elected officials and government workers whose names appeared in the alleged narco-list made public in 2016.
Año was joined by PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde during the inspection of Boracay in its closure yesterday.
For his part, Albayalde said he is in favor of naming the barangay officials with drug links..
“We support this decision. This is to provide our electorate a chance to choose and decide who to vote for and not to vote,” said Albayalde.