PDEA justifies narcolist revelation: It was in response to public clamor
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has stood its ground and remained unfazed by the possible implications of revealing the names of those on its “narco list.”
“Let them exhaust whatever legal remedies available to them and we will answer everything,” Director Derrick Carreon, chief public information officer of the PDEA told Cebu Daily News on Tuesday.
Carreon, who was designated to address all media queries regarding the narco list, was confident they didn’t violate any law as there was enough basis to make public the names of former and incumbent barangay officials who are accused of being “involved in illegal drug activities.”
“First, it was the President’s order (to reveal the names on the narco list). Second, the contents therein were validated. Third, public office is public trust so we, in government, our right to privacy is subdued or subordinated by the right of the public to know especially if the person has a shady background,” he explained.
Carreon said making public the names of those on the narco list was the administration’s response to public clamor.
“People want to know whom to vote and whom not to vote in the elections,” he said.
In a press conference at the PDEA central office in Quezon City last Monday, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the list which included 90 barangay captains and 117 barangay councilors will be used as the basis for filing criminal and administrative cases in the Ombudsman and in local courts in the coming weeks.
Aquino said the list was a combination of “validated” watchlists from the PDEA, Philippine National Police, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The list included three former village chiefs in Cebu: Ramonette Durano, Marc Ferdinand Bas and Bibiano Cabaron.
Durano was identified in the list as a former village chief of Suba who is now the public information officer of Danao City in northern Cebu.
Cabaron, on one hand, was the former village chief of Palanas in Ronda town who is now serving as municipal councilor. Bas was a former barangay captain of Lagtang in Talisay City.
Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano IV of the 5th district, in a statement, raised concerns about the details of the narco list.
He said there was no Ramonette Durano who served as information officer of the Danao city government as alleged on the list released by PDEA.
But Red said there was, however, a Ramonette Cynthia D. Mahinay who was information officer of Danao and was barangay captain until October 2013.
He said said Mahinay had showed “valuable contribution to the campaign against illegal drug activities in the city” while serving in those two positions.
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