Duterte names 8 party mates in new drug list

Rambo Talabong
Duterte names 8 party mates in new drug list

Malacañang Photo

(UPDATED) The PDP-Laban says it will ask these candidates to explain. If they do not give a 'satisfactory' statement, they will be expelled from the party.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Of the 46 politicians named by President Rodrigo Duterte in his new drug list, 8 belong to his political party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Based on Rappler’s count cross-checked with Commission on Elections records, Duterte named 8 of his party mates as allegedly involved in the drug trade during a meeting with the National Peace and Order Council (NPOC) meeting with top police and military officials in Davao City on Thursday, March 14.

“An official’s right to privacy is not absolute and there is a compelling reason to prioritize the state and the people. As your president, my ultimate concern is the pursuit of order in government,” Duterte said before he began reading the list.

His 8 party mates consist of 7 mayors and 1 vice mayor. They are running in the 2019 polls.

Rappler will not publish their names to protect their right to due process and privacy. So far, they have only been accused of “grave misconduct” before the Office of the Ombudsman, but no criminal complaints have been filed against them over their supposed drug links.  (READ: Journalists urged not to aid trial by publicity over narco list)

In a tweet on Thursday evening, PDP-Laban public information chairman Ron Munsayac said: “We are checking if there are candidates under the PDP-Laban. Should there be any, we will ask them to explain, and if they fail to do so satisfactorily, they will be expelled from the party.”

How many are running against PDP-Laban?

On the flipside, Duterte named 12 local politicians who are running against PDP-Laban candidates – 12 for mayor and 1 for vice mayor.

In total, Duterte named 41 male and 5 female politicians. They consist of 1 former and 45 incumbent officials, further broken down to 33 mayors, 8 vice mayors, 3 congressmen, 1 board member, and 1 former mayor.

Of the 46, 36 are running in the 2019 polls, 22 of whom are reelectionists.

They are distributed to the following regions:

  • Calabarzon – 11
  • ARMM – 10
  • Western Visayas – 5
  • Northern Mindanao – 4
  • Central Luzon – 4
  • Soccsksargen – 3
  • Ilocos – 2
  • Central Visayas – 2
  • Zamboanga Peninsula – 2
  • Cagayan Valley Region – 1
  • Eastern Visayas – 1
  • Caraga – 1

with Michael Bueza/Rappler.com

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said 13 of the politicians in the new drug list are running against PDP-Laban candidates in the 2019 elections, and that 25 are reelectionists. Only 12 have PDP-Laban opponents, while there are only 22 reelectionists. This has been corrected.

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.