By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang is hopeful that voters would choose wisely the new batch of village officials following the release of some barangay officials allegedly involved in the narcotics trade.
“The information is being released to help guide our voters to choose wisely their barangay captains,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“So I have here quite a number of names. Mostly barangay captains who are in fact in the list of those allegedly involved in illegal drug activities,” he said.
The list of barangay officials with suspected drug links was released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to the public today despite a recent statement of the President that it was not yet time to do so.
Roque, however, clarified that there was a “confusion” on the President’s remarks during his press conference upon arrival in Davao City from his visit to Singapore early yesterday morning.
Duterte apparently misheard the question about the PDEA list and gave a different answer related to the Filipino workers in Kuwait.
“I guess nagkaroon ng confusion iyong context ng sinabi ni Presidente (I guest there was a confusion in the context of the President’s remarks). Remember, it’s already late in the morning, early morning na,” Roque said.
“So kung titingnan ninyo ang transcript, parang he was referring to iyong pagbabalik ng mga OFWs. Parang iyon iyong context nang sinabi niyang huwag muna, may inaantay pa (So based on the transcript, he was apparently referring to the return of the OFWs. It seems that’s the context when he said it’s not yet the time because he was waiting for something),” he added.
When asked about his directive to PDEA to bare the names of the drug-linked barangay officials during the yesterday’s news conference, Duterte said: “Not yet. It is not time.”
“I have to get back all of those who want to come back,” he added, referring to government efforts to help Filipino workers in Kuwait who want to come home.