MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to reveal the names of 27 local officials suspected of links to the drug trade, Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday, August 2.
"My God, you will be shocked," Panelo told reporters in an interview at the Palace press area, referring to the President's list culled from intelligence reports.
He said the President told him that the revelation would be made “either tonight or tomorrow.”
Panelo declined to give details of the local officials, but said in Filipino that “they are all from the provinces, some with prominent names.”
“Basta ang sabi ni Presidente, ‘Kilala ko ito pero (The President said, ‘I know them but) I have a duty to serve and protect the [people],” the Palace official said.
When asked, Panelo said that these officials will take the same route as the active and retired police generals that the President had earlier accused of drug links, referring to an investigation of the allegations.
On Monday, Duterte called on Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr of Albuera town in Leyte and his son, Kerwin, to surrender to government forces within 24 hours or face the consequences of being linked to the illegal drugs trade. Both are suspected of involvement in illegal drug trafficking and coddling drug lords.