Agusan del Sur judge in Duterte's final drug list
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte plucked a single name from his final list of suspected drug personalities and announced it in public.
"I'll name him publicly. I heard he was ambushed somewhere. Nandito ang pangalan niya (His name is here), Judge Hector Salise, Agusan del Sur," said Duterte on Friday, September 30, during a gathering of women police in Davao City.
Salise and his driver were ambushed last September 23 while passing through a highway in Butuan City. Salise was rushed to the hospital after sustaining gun shot wounds. He was reported to have been shot in the head, and as of September 24, was in intensive care.
Salise is known to handle illegal drugs cases in the Bayugan Regional Trial Court. He is seen as an anti-drugs advocate, supposedly because he takes a tough stance against drug suspects.
But Duterte on Friday accused Salise of "case-fixing." He also said he did not know who was behind the judge's ambush.
"We really did not know who did it but iyan ang mahirap, if pumasok ka sa droga tapos nabayaran ka (that's what's difficult, if you get into drugs and you are paid)," said Duterte.
Salise's name is the only name from the list which Duterte mentioned in his speech as of posting.
As in several previous speeches, Duterte showed the thick list to the public but only teased a few names and details.
He again said he has had it "revalidated and revalidated," with the list supposedly already screened by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, military, and National Intelligence Coordination Agency.
Duterte said his list also contains the names of two congressmen, more judges, and a lot of barangay captains and police.
Apology for mistake
Recently, Duterte apologized for tagging former Pangasinan Governor and now representative Amado Espino Jr as being involved in the drug trade.
He said then, "Insofar as the drugs, I think that somehow we were negligent in counterchecking in the first report." Duterte was referring to a "drug matrix" that named several local officials and government bureaucrats with supposed links to Senator Leila de Lima.
He said that upon checking the information given to him, the connection between Espino and the drug trade appeared to be a "blur."
Duterte acknowledged the impact of his publicly linking persons to illegal drug operations.
"If I name you publicly, it would stain your life forever," said the President.
He apologized publicly to Espino, Pangasinan District Board Member Raul Sison, and Pangasinan Provincial Administrator Raffy Baraan for the mistake. – Rappler.com