Narco list out before 2022 polls — PDEA

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) aims to finish validating President Duterte’s list of narco politicians before the 2022 national elections.

PDEA director general Wilkins Villanueva said this is to ensure that politicians with links to the illegal drug trade would no longer pose a problem in the elections.

Villanueva said the PDEA and other concerned agencies are working on a regional adjudication system for the validation process.

“Dapat before the election ma-validate na natin silang lahat at hindi na yan magiging issue in the next election,” he said.

Villanueva did not say how many politicians are still on Duterte’s narco list.

Prior to the 2019 midterm elections, the PDEA said 83 politicians, most of them mayors, were still on the list.

At least 25 of those included in the President’s narco list won in the elections.

Villanueva said many politicians stopped their illegal activities because of the government’s war on drugs.

“Kung dati naglalaro pa sila, ngayon stop na,” he said.

A PDEA report released on Friday showed that 352 elected officials are among the 256,788 persons arrested for illegal drugs since 2016.

As this developed, Davao Oriental second district Rep. Mayo Almario said charges should be filed against narco politicians ahead of the filing of certificates of candidacy in October next year.

“If there is sufficient evidence against the so-called narco politicians, cases must be filed... The delay might be misconstrued as politically motivated,” Almario said. – Edith Regalado



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