By Chito Chavez
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said 60 of the 207 barangay officials included in the narco-list won in the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election (BSKE).
PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino the barangay officials who got fresh mandates include 36 barangay chairmen and 24 kagawads (councilmen).
Despite their victorious election quest in the local polls, Aquino vowed to continue building cases against the 60 officials and even those who failed to secure elective posts.
He noted that drug money was used to buy votes in some areas.
With the heavy criticisms from some lawmakers and human rights advocates, PDEA still released the narco-list which include officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
The list with the go signal of President Duterte was released several weeks before the May 14 elections to discourage the public from voting for them.
Aquino maintained that the release of the narco-list was successful saying the number could have been more if this was not publicly revealed.
“The figure does not include officials from Bicol and Caraga regions,’’ Aquino said.
Earlier, Malacañang defended PDEA’s move to release in public the list of barangay officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the list was “released to help guide voters to choose wisely.”
Aquino said the narco-list had been validated by four law enforcement agencies a statement he made to prove the accuracy of the list.
However, Aquino explained that until the court issues a resolution on the case, the alleged involvement of these officials in the illegal drug trade will remain an accusation.