By Argyll Geducos
President Duterte released Thursday night the names of 46 local officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Duterte read the names of 33 mayors, eight vice mayors, three congressmen, a board member, and a former mayor.
Before reading the list, Duterte said his decision to name the suspected drug personalities was anchored on his trust on the government agencies who had vetted the narcolist.
According to the President, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed administrative cases against the officials on March 14, 2019, at the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission also conducted their respective investigations which aided the government in filing air-tight cases against the local officials in the list.
Duterte said that he opted to release the list because it concerns the public.
“Remember that public office is a public trust. An official’s right to privacy is not absolute and there is a compelling reason to prioritize the interest of the state and the people,” he said.
“As your President, my ultimate concern is the pursuit of order in government and the welfare of the Filipino people,” he added.
“My administration assures you of our dedication to change the lives of Filipinos now, not tomorrow,” he continued.
As he was reading his list, Duterte paused to say that he will only be reading those with cases filed against them.
“I’m reading ito lang muna. Yung iba I just want to be doubly sure (I will only read these names because I just want to be extra sure about the other ones),” he said.
“Yung iba ‘wag na muna kasi hindi ko sigurado, eh. Yung nai-file na, medyo validated na (Let’s spare the others for now because I’m not sure about them yet. Let’s just go with these validated ones), then we can we say that have gathered enough proof,” he added.
According to Duterte, he does not want to unnecessarily cause the defeat of someone who truly wants to serve the people in the upcoming midterm polls because of the narcolist.
“I’m not really interested in releasing it before or after elections because I do not have the slightest intention to hurt anybody or to be a cause the failure of an election of a certain one who wants to serve the public,” he said.
President Duterte had earlier expressed support for the release of the narcolist ahead of the 2019 midterm elections.