By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte is supporting the suggestion of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to release the list of narco-politicians ahead of the 2019 midterm polls.
Duterte, in an interview with Palace reporters in Malacañang, expressed support to Año’s suggestion, but he is leaving the decision up to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) head.
“Yes [I support it]. Or would you rather hindi na talaga lalabas yung pangalan nila? Galit ako sa droga (that their names won’t get out at all? I hate drugs),” he told reporters Wednesday.
“Yes [I would release the list]! [But] It’s up to Año to decide on that. I do not interfere on that,” he added.
Earlier, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte would back such move since the President himself released a list during his first year as Chief Executive.
“As far as the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government is concerned, there is a need to provide information para magkaroon sila ng (so that voters can make an) intelligent choice,” he said.
“Di ba si Presidente noon naglabas na rin noon? So it goes without saying, kung si Presidente mismo naglabas (The President released a list before, right? So it goes without saying if the President himself released one),” he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, said the list that will be released should be vetted carefully in order to not have put innocent candidates at a disadvantage.
“The assumption is yes, [the list would be carefully verified]. I remember di ba may nagkamali one time (there was a time they got it wrong, right)? Siguro (Perhaps), they have learned their lesson,” he said.
In case it happens, Panelo said that those who will be affected can try their luck again in the next elections and sue the authorities for damages.
“Eh ‘di tumakbo ka uli (Just run again in the next elections) but you can sue for damages. You can sue,” he said.
Last year, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) released a list of narco-politicians ahead of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) to “guide” the voters to choose wisely.
Malacañang defended the release of the said list, saying it is not a kill list.