MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, April 29, said it is not yet time to reveal barangay officials included in his drug list.
"Not yet. It is not time. And I have to get back all of those who want to come back," Duterte said in a press conference on Sunday upon his arrival from Singapore.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) earlier said, however, that it will release the list two weeks before the May 14 barangay elections, and that this has been approved by Malacañang.
PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon told Rappler that the list is 211 names long, and claimed all names have been "validated."
The list is part of a longer roll kept by PDEA. The narco list is already 6,000 names long as of December 2017.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Duterte's ally, pushed for the release of the list, saying the public should know and should be able to verify the information.
"Eto sabi ng PDEA may mayroon silang validated list. Therefore, ginawa 'nyo naman 'yan using public funds, as public agency, at saka 'di top secret so ilabas na 'yan," Pimentel said. (PDEA said they have a validated list. Therefore, since they did that using public funds and it is not top secret information, they should release it.)
"Yung mga tao na gustong i-clear ang pangalan nila kumilos na sila, either hire a lawyer... At least may pakinabang sa atin ang listahan, dapat malaman na ng taumbayan yan," he added. (Those who want to clear their names should now act. At least the list will do something good for us. The public should know about the names.)
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said they will file charges against barangay officials linked to illegal drugs. – Rappler.com
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org