By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has insisted the release of the narco-list before the May 13, 2019 mid-term elections is never designed to tarnish the image of opposition candidates.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya maintained the move was part of the government’s “honest to goodness’’ efforts to strengthen its war against illegal drugs.
“The release of the list of politicians allegedly involved in illegal drugs ahead of the May elections was not meant to “destroy the enemies of the administration,” Malaya said.
Malaya added it is uncalled for and far from the truth to insist that it is a government’s witch-hunt meant to discredit and “destroy the enemies of the administration”.
Undeterred by the accusations, Malaya said the DILG in support of President Duterte’s war on drugs will continue its “honest to goodness effort to end the drug trade which has been plaguing the country for a very long time’’.
Before the March 29 start of the campaign period for local poll candidates, President Duterte announced the names of the politicians with supposed illegal drug ties.
Malaya reiterated that the release of the narco-list was politically motivated that was meant to intimidate and sow terror on groups and politicians running against government policies.
To prove his point, Malaya noted numerous allies and supporters of the President were included in the shame list.
“They are members of political parties who are party-mates of the President or members of political parties who are allies of the President’s political party,” Malaya said.
Malaya said the election period would not stop the DILG to perform its mandate to supervise local government positions.
“That is really the mandate of the DILG and it’s because campaign period we are not supposed to do our job anymore? Whether it’s election period or not, we are prepared to do our mandate,” he concluded.