By Chito Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) brushed off accusations that the release of the initial narco-list or those politicians tied with illegal drugs was politically motivated.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya insisted it is unfair for politicians or their supporters to accuse the DILG of being bias to favor certain candidates for the May 13, 2019 mid-term elections aligned with the Duterte government.
To recall, several politicians in the said “narco-list’’ where 46 were named are party mates or supporters of the President dispelling unfounded claims that this is a political maneuver.
“It would be unfair for them to ascribe bad intentions on our part because this was not done for politics,’’ Malaya said.
Malaya however noted “we expect that those who are implicated here would rebut and refute the allegations in the proper venue’’.
On Thursday, President Duterte released the government’s “narco-list” leading to the mid-term elections.
With the announcement, the DILG had filed administrative charges against the politicians named in the shame list before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Following the release of the list, several politicians—mostly the re-electionists cried foul over their inclusion in the narco-list.
They vehemently rejected claims about their supposed illegal drug links saying they were tagged due to politics.
Malaya clarified that those included in the “narco-list’’ are not only those who are suspected as illegal drug financiers or pushers.
He noted that those included in the list may be protectors of illegal drug personalities or those who have been negligent of their sworn duties to support the government’s drug war.
Aside from administrative cases against the officials, Malaya said criminal charges would also be filed against them.
“The decision was to file administrative cases first and the criminal cases would follow,” he added.
Derrick Arnold Carreon spokesman of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reiterated the “narco-list’’ has undergone tight scrutiny, validation, evaluation and thorough investigation for 14 months before being announced by the President.
Vouching for its accuracy and factuality, Carreon said a composite team from the Inter-Agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (ICAD) conducted the re-evaluation of the politicians included in the initial list.