By Elena Aben
President Rodrigo Duterte met with his predecessor, current Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in Malacañang on Monday, November 28.
The president disclosed he brought up with Rep. Arroyo the extent of the drug problem in the country.
He then showed a pile of documents which he said contained names of personalities involved in the illicit drug trade.
“This is the drug industry of the Philippines. Lahat iyan pangalan… it’s about 5,000 (names),” said the president in his speech during the ceremonial switch on of the 135-megawatt coal-fired power plant of Palm Concepcion Power Corp.
The list, Duterte said, includes the names of thousands of village officials (barangay captains) and policemen.
“Dala-dala ko, pinakita ko kay President Arroyo. Sabi ko, ‘Ma’am, we are in a bind. I really don’t know how to… Surrender na ako’,” said Duterte.
“Sabi ko, ‘Hindi ko kaya ito. Even assuming publicly that I can kill them, I will not have the time and resources to do it’,” he added.
The president also said he had some names removed from the narco-list.
“Because I was looking at the problem. Ang standard ko kasi sa intelligence report was the standard of a lawyer. So hindi puwede iyang sabi dito, sabi doon, parang double ano na, hearsay. So nilaglag ko na iyong iba,” he said.
The president went on to say that the Philippines was already in a narco-politics state given the huge number of policemen and local official, including mayors, involved in the drug trade.
And while he refused to say on what particular administration the narco-politics started in the country, Duterte repeated his previous claims that, sadly, it was Sen. Leila De Lima who opened the “portals of the national government to the contamination of narco politics.”
“Kung cancer we are already in stage 2 because karamihan ng barangay captains nandiyan, easy money. And had I acceded to an election this year for thr barangay captains, we would have lost to the money of the drug industry,” Duterte continued.
The president on Saturday said he plans to submit his final and validated narco list to the National Security Council (NSC) within the week and will provide a copy to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
He also disclosed he wants to formulate a plan on how to prevent disaster for the next generation, noting that the problem on illegal drugs is a virulent issue that threatens to destroy the future of the country.
On Tuesday, Duterte will lead the inauguration of phase 1 of the 30,000-capacity mega drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, which was donated by a Chinese philanthropist.