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Duterte’s list of ‘narco-politicians’

Tumbas Manipis
by John A. Bello

We could only hope that this latest druglist by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte of alleged narcopoliticians he named on Thursday night (Mar. 14) has been thoroughly vetted and validated before he finally decided to publicize it on live television to the whole nation. Early on, weeks after his assumption to the presidency in July 2016, Duterte had his first druglist which turned out to be fatally flawed that several of those included in the list should not be there at all as some of them turned out to have long been dead, wrongfully included, or mistaken for somebody else, among other blatant errors or ridiculous blunders. All of those seemingly nonchalantly included in the first druglist, along with three police generals, have not been hailed to court at all but supposedly dragged into the list perhaps to enhance the list that the new Duterte administration meant business at that time that the new president had issued the grim and determined vow during the election campaign that he would end illegal drugs, corruption and criminality “in 3 to 6 months”. Well, we all now know that the 3 to 6 months came and went about the government centerpiece program ‘War on Drugs’ of the new Duterte administration and all it has proven was the pile up of dead bodies and more dead bodies, mostly of poor victims of the police brutal anti-drug operations. Even before the 6 months ended, Duterte extended his bloody anti-drug campaign to a year and after finally realizing that the drug problem in the country is ‘overwhelming’ and beyond any easy solution of his administration, the president said he was stretching his anti-drug campaign up to the end of his term of 6 years to root out the problem of illegal drugs in the entire country. He would repeat this promise to end illegal drugs until the end of his term in his various speaking engagements and his audience would still be mesmerized and not recall his earlier vows and even that illegal drug trading activities still persist, seemingly rampant until now, in his own turf in Davao city.

Now about this list of narco-politicians. The Phil. Drug Enforcement Authority vouched for the drug list saying it has undergone 14 months of supposedly sustained study and monitoring such that it has ripened already to the point that the president can make a go for it and release it for the people to know who are the public officials who have links with illegal drugs in the country. Aside from PDEA, other supposedly sources of the president’s druglist are the PNP, the intelligence communities and certainly those arrested drug suspects. The president can have other sources beyond the PDEA, PNP and the intelligence community and which these government agencies can do nothing but defer and believe coz the office of the presidency seemingly has all the resources to gather sensitive informations over and above these agencies.

With this latest Duterte’s drug list, the president exposed and named 46 public officials he easily branded as narco-politicians which included 3 congressmen, 33 mayors, 9 vice mayors and 1 board member. Of the 33 mayors he included Lucena city mayor Roderick ‘Dondon’ Alcala along with several mayors in Calabarzon region or Region 4-A such as Loreto Amante of San Pablo city; Juan Toreja of Ibaan, Batangas; Raul Palino of Teresa, Rizal; Bruno Tolentino of Bay, Laguna; Caesar Perez of Los Banos, Laguna; Cecilio Hernandez of Rodriguez, Rizal; and Eulalio Alillo of Lemery, Batangas.

Those named and branded as narco-politicians by the president, like mayor Alcala, would they do nothing but go along with the president as he could very well have known more than they do about their supposed involvement with illegal drug activities in their localities? The latest narcolist, explains PDEA, means those public officials included have either link with illegal drug activities in their area of jurisdiction or tolerated illegal drug to run rampant which could mean they are in cahoots with illegal drug traders or operators and they are protecting them.

Woe to these sitting public officials such that they have been named and shamed in the entire country by a powerful president who is bent in naming and shaming these public officials who are supposedly protecting illegal drugs in clear violation of their sworn duty to safeguard their constituents from harm. In the eyes of the general public, those named by the president, cannot but be guilty of the accusation that indeed they have links to illegal drugs. And for those running for reelection among them, if the elections are held today, most probably they would have lost thousands of votes, or maybe even tumble down in a heap of eventual defeat, due to the president’s claim that they are narco-politicians. For who would ever think of voting to public office a political candidate who is involved in illegal drugs? Pastilan, bes.