PNP chief backs release of ‘narco list’
MANILA, Philippines — Police General Oscar Albayalde supports the release of the so-called narco list or the list of politicians involved in the illegal drug trade in time for the midterm elections if it is properly validated.
While maintaining that the Philippine National Police is not the agency that could release the list, Albayalde said voters had the right to be informed about politicians into drug trafficking after the information had been validated.
“If this will be validated, I think so,” Albayalde said in a press briefing at Camp Crame, Monday when asked if the public had the right to know politicians involved in the drug trade.
“Ang importante dito is the validation, deliberation and adjudication of the information. ‘Yung taumbayan, they deserve to know. They deserve the truth,” he added.
(The validation, deliberation, and adjudication of the information are important. People deserve to know.)
Earlier, Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said that releasing the list to the public during the election period would be “unfair” to politicians on the list, adding that it could be considered negative campaigning.
But for Albayalde, “it’s just fair” for voters to know such politicians, and also those supporting the New People’s Army by submitting to their extortion activities or permit-to-campaign fees in red-infested areas.
“It’s high time that Filipinos know the truth, para naman magkaroon ng desisyon na maayos, makapagdecide nang maayos ang mga botante kung sino ang dapat [at] nararapat na manungkulan sa ating bansa,” he said.
(It’s high time that Filipinos know the truth, so they can make a good decision, so voters can decide properly on who deserves to serve the country.)
Despite his pronouncement, Albayalde admitted that validating the list posed a challenge to government authorities.
“It’s the same with corruption. Minsan, mahirap makakuha ng ebidensya. That’s why ‘yung validation talagang nagtatagal din,” he said.
(Sometimes, it’s hard to get evidence. That’s why validation also takes time.)
According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the list included 83 politicians, including mayors, vice mayors, governors, vice governors, and congressmen.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the release of the narco-list was up to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who said he would coordinate with the PDEA on the matter.
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