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Duterte: New 'narco list' has names of 1,000 officials

President Duterte holds a diagram showing the network of drug rings and personalities operating in the country while delivering a televised message at Malacañang on July 7, 2016. BOY SANTOS, file  
SAN MIGUEL, BULACAN, Philippines – About 1,000 names are in the new list of government officials with alleged links to illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday.
 
The president vowed to reveal the names soon as part of his intensified campaign against narcotics.
 
“The final report is there. I’m going to make it public. I spoke with Congress and asked them what I will do with this. There are 1,000 barangay captains, policemen, mayors, governors and judges,” Duterte told members of the First Scout Ranger Regiment in Camp Tecson here.
 
“I have asked the intelligence community, the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) and the NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency) to fine-tune the list,” he added.
 
While exposing officials with alleged connections to drug lords is no longer new to him, Duterte still showed frustration over the reports reaching him.
 
“Di ko na kaya ito (I can’t take this anymore),” he said.
 
The president, who vowed to wage a brutal war against drugs and crime, has already linked more than 160 incumbent and former local executives, lawmakers and judges to the illegal drugs trade. While officials claimed that the expose would allow the officials to clear their names, critics believe the announcement of names violates due process.
 
He has also accused Sen. Leila De Lima, former Justice secretary and critic of a perceived rise on deaths attributed to the government's anti-drug campaign, of being connected to the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa. The Bureau of Corrections, which runs the penitentiary, is under the Department of Justice.
 
Duterte claimed that he deliberately shamed officials believed to be into illegal drugs because they act like “superstars”
 
“Suddenly, they felt naked,” he added.
 
Duterte has promised to suppress drugs and crime within six months and to run after drug lords and their protectors in government. He said there are about 3.7 million drug addicts in the country and warned that failure to address the problem within the next six years would transform the Philippines into a “narco state.”
 
Close to 3,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed, about half of them in police operations, since Duterte assumed office last June 30.
 
Duterte acknowledged that he has been criticized for his drug crackdown. He, however, said he would compromise the next generation if he does not implement tough measures against narcotics.
 
“The problem may outlast me,” the president said.
 
“Please take care of the country. I’m doing this because I’m trying to save the next generation,” he added.
 
Duterte urged soldiers to continue the fight against illegal drugs or their descendants would suffer. He also assured the government forces that he would stand by them in case they face charges in relation to the anti-drug war.
 
“In accordance with my order, I will assume full legal responsibility and I will go o jail alone,” the tough-talking Philippine leader said.
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