Speaker: 3, not 2, congressmen on Duterte narco-list
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - January 24, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Not just two, but three incumbent congressmen are included in President Duterte’s thick file of government officials and employees involved in the illegal drugs trade. 

“There were three; I erred in saying there were two,” House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez told reporters in a chance interview over the weekend.

Alvarez was with the President and other government officials in Camp Crame to attend Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa’s birthday party. 

But Alvarez refused to identify the three congressmen in the watch list.

Earlier, he hinted that one of the congressmen hails from Mindanao and could be more of a drug protector, based on his initial background check. 

Administration lawmaker Rep. Rodito Albano III of Isabela suggested that a formal complaint be filed against the three suspected congressmen, so that the House ethics committee could apply disciplinary actions against them.

“First, they are not identified and second, a formal complaint should be filed first for the House to act on possible disciplinary actions,” Albano said.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, earlier urged the Speaker to name names, saying it is unfair for the nearly 300 House members who, he said, are now all suspects in the narcotics trade.

Barbers said appropriate disciplinary action should be meted out against the lawmakers if evidence warrants their dismissal or their indictment.

“If the evidence is strong enough, they must already be named and face court cases, so that the House could act based on our rules,” Barbers said in Filipino.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe also urged Alvarez to reveal the identities of the lawmakers.

The Speaker said also in the list of government officials involved in the illegal drug trade are governors, mayors, judges and prosecutors.


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