Bets in narco list? Comelec stresses need for due process

Paterno Esmaquel II
Bets in narco list? Comelec stresses need for due process
Being on the narco list should not automatically mean disqualification, says Commission on Elections Chairman Sheriff Abas

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sheriff Abas stressed the need for due process as two government agencies urged the poll body to disqualify bets in the so-called narco list.

In a press conference on Friday, October 12, Abas said the Comelec has referred the issue to its law department for further study. He expects the law department to produce a study on this by next week.

Kasi babalansehin mo diyan, unang una kailangan may due process. Hindi puwedeng dahil nasa listahan ka, i-DQ ka kaagad,” Abas said, referring to disqualification by its acronym DQ. (Because what you need to balance in this case, first of all there has to be due process. It shouldn’t be that you will be disqualified just because you’re on the list.)

Pangalawa titingnan natin ang listahan, kung under the rules, kung puwede ba natin sila i-DQ,” he added. (Secondly, we will look at the list and see if, under he rules, we can disqualify them based on it.)

Abas pointed out that the Comelec has received two letters – from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – calling on the Comelec to disqualify candidates on so-called drug lists or narco lists.

In a Malacañang briefing on Friday, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the DILG will forward narco lists to the Comelec. “We hope that the Comelec will disqualify them,” Malaya said. 

Malaya said that if the Comelec rejects the DILG’s request because of legal issues, “then we will reassess what we need to do.” He said, “Perhaps we may release the list to the public just like what we did during the last barangay elections.” (READ: [OPINION] PDEA’s release of barangay drug list unconstitutional)  –


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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at