By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has expressed sadness over the alleged involvement of several celebrities in the illegal drug trade, saying charges should be filed if allegations are proven true.
“We are saddened that these people are involved but we will never tolerate it,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a Palace press briefing.
“When one is involved in drugs, you will be saddened because your involvement will create a dysfunction of families,” he added.
More than 30 celebrities are reportedly included in the government’s list of suspected drug offenders. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) claimed that some celebrities were pushers while others were users of the illegal substance.
Panelo said authorities should prosecute celebrities if proven they were hooked on illegal drugs.
“If they have sufficient evidence to back them up in court, they should and they must,” he said.
On the release of the list of drug-linked celebrities, Panelo said the PDEA should still get permission from the President before it can take such action.
The PDEA reportedly claimed that the list of suspected narco-celebrities still requires validation.
Asked if the Palace was amenable to the release of the names, Panelo preferred to ask the President’s position on the matter.
“I will ask the President because the releasing the names is a different matter,” he said.
He denied though that the Palace was giving special treatment to celebrities, saying he just wanted to know the President’s view on the matter before making a comment.
READ MORE: 31 celebrities in PDEA drug watch list