MANILA, Philippines – As President Rodrigo Duterte named a long list of public officials he said are involved in drugs, he assured them that they will be afforded due process.
Duterte said in case the officials he named are charged with administrative and criminal cases, he will give them due process. However, he said there is no due process in his mouth and he will continue to name them as he wants the public to be informed of the truth.
The president said his move to name magistrates, politicians, and police officers allegedly linked to illegal drugs is a fulfillment of his sworn duty to protect the Filipino people. He accused these officials of committing treason and destroying the country.
“Now, I’m reading the personalities in the Philippines, it might be true or it might not be true but then yung sinasabi ninyong due process isa yan. Baka sakali ma-demanda itong mga taong ito, administrative or criminal, then these should have due process, presumption of innocence, lahat yan sa Constitution ibigay ko yan but my mouth is walang due process dito,” Duterte said.
“Yung due process has nothing to do with my mouth. Walang proceedings dito, walang abogado. Ako nagsasalita ako sa taumbayan at malaman po ninyo anong katotohanan,” he added.
Duterte said that according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency there were about three million drug addicts in the country two to three years ago and the number has been growing and so he is forced to name the officials involved. He said the rising number of drug addicts was not controlled because the people from the “government were into it.”
The president ordered all police personnel assigned as security personnel of the local executives named relieved. They were asked to report to the mother unit, otherwise they will be dismissed from service. He also advised all the rest mentioned to report to the Philippine National Police.
“I would to just give you the advise that once you hear your name mentioned here, you are now relieved of your present assignment and report to the PNP,” Duterte said.
Duterte said he does not hold anyone sacred in naming the people on the list and revealed that some of the names on his “narco list” are his friends. He particularly mentioned the Ramas of Cebu. Former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was among those named.
“‘Pag ‘di ko masabi [‘yung pangalan] dahil kilala kita, ang pinakamabuti kong gawin is resign,” Duterte said.
“This is not personal to me. Hindi ko kayo kalaban, wala akong sama ng loob sa inyo pero galit na ako ngayon kasali ka. Some day magkikita tayo,” he added.
Duterte initially named five generals allegedly involved in drug trade and later on named Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. as drug protectors. PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said more local executives will be named.