PDEA to name within week brgy candidates on narco list

By: Nestle L. Semilla and Rosalie O. Abatayo April 25,2018 - 10:24 PM

Voters in the upcoming SK and Barangay elections will now have a critical guide as to who to support and shun in the May 14 polls.

This after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) decided to release within the week the names of incumbent barangay officials who are involved in the illegal drug trade.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said that there are around 216 barangay officials in the drug list of President Rodrigo Duterte that will be named.

But local heads of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) urge the anti-drug agency to file charges against personalities in narco list first.

“If they will give out names, I presume that they have sufficient evidence against the persons. So aside from naming names, please file charges,” said Philip Zafra, the head of the ABC Cebu City who is also the barangay captain of Tisa.

Zafra said that if the names will come out during the election period, it cannot be avoided that the move will be interpreted as an election propaganda.

“We welcome that plan, I just hope that they have validated their data and they have basis for that dili lang kay istorya ra,” Zafra said.

“The better if they file kay aron those people included [in the list] will also be given the chance to answer the allegations,” he added.

In a press briefing on Wednesday at the PDEA headquarters in Manila, Aquino said that the list included barangay chairpersons and kagawads.

“I am now finalizing the list and within the week I will call for another press conference, and I will publish finally these 216 barangay kagawads and barangay chairmen who are involved in drugs,” Aquino said.

He said the Office of the President already gave him the go signal to publish the names of the narco politicians.

Provincial Board Member Celestino Martinez III, ABC-Cebu Province president, also said that filing charges against alleged narcopoliticians would be a more effective way to curtail the illegal drug activities.

“Dili ko mo-encourage but that’s the discretion of their heads, but it would be more credible if they apprehend [the narcopoliticians in their list],” said Martinez.

Martinez believes that actual apprehension of incumbent barangay officials involved in drugs would give the narcolist more credibility.

“Mas lig-on kung i-file gyod ang kaso. Anyway kung naay madakpan, their names are bound to come out. I-balita man gyod na,” said Martinez.
In Central Visayas, PDEA-7 spokesperson Lea Albiar said they don’t have a copy of the list yet.

Last week, PDEA-7 said that there at least 20 village officials and candidates in Central Visayas who are in the drug trade.

But Albiar cannot ascertain yet if the personalities in their list are also in Aquino’s list. /with a report from Inquirer

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TAGS: brgy, candidates, list, name, NARCO, Pdea, week, within

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