6 LGU execs to be removed from ‘narco-list’ – Aquino
Manila, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is set to remove the names of five mayors and a vice mayor in its so-called list of narco-politicians.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino revealed this Wednesday, as he noted 83 politicians are currently included in the list of government officials allegedly involved in illegal drug trade.
Originally, the list included 93 officials but Aquino said some of them were already arrested, killed, or have died a natural death.
“We are about to clear five mayors and one vice mayor (out of the 83), and the rest will still be there,” he told reporters after PDEA gave cash reward to tipsters and law enforcers of big-time anti-drug operations.
Aquino said the recommendation for the removal of the local executives in the list resulted from validation of a task force composed of PDEA, Philippine National Police, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
But PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said the task force’s power is “purely recommendatory” and its suggestions are subject to President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval.
According to Aquino, most of the names in the narco-list are coddlers of drug lords but added that some might have only tried to help their relative, who was arrested for small amount of illegal drugs, to be released from jail.
“So kapag ganoon lang naman kaliit (ang involvement), ikukumpara mo naman sa isang mayor na talagang drug lord, eh di-ne-delist na lang namin iyon,” he said.
(So if his involvement is that minimal, if you will compare it with a mayor who is really a drug lord, we just delist him.)
He said the names of the six officials will be transferred to a “suspense file” for now.
“But kapag dumating ang panahon (na) na-monitor that he is doing some illegal acts, then we will bring him back doon sa narco-list,” Aquino said.
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