DDB chairman Catalino Cuy yesterday said he is in favor of this move, which is similar to what was done during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections last May.
DDB wants list of narco politicians released
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is pushing for the release to the public of the list of narco-politicians to guide the voters in the midterm elections next year.

DDB chairman Catalino Cuy yesterday said he is in favor of this move, which is similar to what was done during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections last May.

“It would be advantageous and beneficial for the voters to know the background of the candidates in the area, especially if there are allegations or reports of involvement in illegal drug activities,” Cuy told a press conference.

In the same briefing, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino said there are about 85 politicians on the narco list consisting of vice mayors, mayors, vice governors, governors and congressmen.

“I’m just waiting for the guidance from President Duterte if he will permit PDEA to disclose all (those on) the list,” he said.

Aquino urged the public not to vote for corrupt candidates who would buy their votes.

“Don’t vote for politicians who are involved in drugs, who are narco-terrorists and corrupt,” he said.

The PDEA expects that drug money will again prevail once the election period goes full swing similar to the barangay and SK polls period when they received reports that corrupt candidates shelled out P25,000 for every family.

“That is only for the barangay elections. How much more if it’s the local and national elections?” the PDEA chief said.    

A better way, according to Aquino, is to accept the money being offered by corrupt politicians but to vote for candidates of their own choice.

As this developed, the Supreme Court (SC) has expanded the coverage of its electronic subpoena or e-subpoena system in trial courts nationwide to cover drug cases handled by the PDEA.

In a resolution approved during the last session presided by Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro last Oct. 9 prior to her retirement, the high court approved the request of the PDEA to be included in its e-subpoena service and management system.

The SC made the latest measure upon the recommendation of Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez.

“Considering that PDEA agents and personnel are likewise called as witnesses in several drug cases, electronic service of subpoena will address the problem of delay of service through registered mail to vital witnesses and eventually expedite the hearing and disposition of cases,” Marquez explained in his memorandum that was approved by the SC.

The high tribunal has authorized Marquez to forge an agreement with the PDEA for the implementation of the e-subpoena system in the government’s lead anti-narcotics agency.

When the SC adopted the e-subpoena system in 2014 as part of the judiciary modernization program, it was only implemented between the trial courts and the Philippine National Police. Now fully implemented in first- and second-level courts, the system was designed to ensure the attendance of police officers when called to testify in criminal cases.

The program intended to address the absences of police officers in hearings, which had previously led to dismissal of thousands of cases – mostly drug cases – and the extended detention of suspects that further contribute to jail congestion.

Under this system, court personnel enter details of the subpoena into the PNP’s database using an e-subpoena form. Once sent, the PNP unit’s court process officer acknowledges receipt and will inform the police officer being summoned.

Within three days from receipt of the e-subpoena, the PNP is required to inform the court of the summoned officer’s availability for the hearing. Under this system, any police officer summoned through the e-subpoena who does not appear in hearing without a valid reason could face both administrative and criminal cases.

With the latest development, the same system will be implemented with the PDEA.– With Edu Punay

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