FACT CHECK: Dead ex-mayor, non-legislator also in Duterte list

Jodesz Gavilan
Spelling errors and wrong information mar the list of local government officials alleged to be involved in the illegal drug trade

WRONG INFORMATION? Errors mar the list of President Rodrigo Duterte. File photo by Simeon Celi/PPD

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, August 7, identified public officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

But after careful checking and verification from various sources, it appears that the list of over 150 people from the judiciary, police, and local government contains some errors. (READ: The Duterte list: Judges, mayors, police officials linked to drugs)

Some of the names are misspelled or have incomplete details – putting at risk people who share their surnames. Some information also seems to be either outdated or incorrect.

Such is the case of a certain “ex-mayor Benahar Tulawie of Talipao, Sulu.”

The name of the ex-mayor in the official transcript sent by Malacañang is different from the name that appears on various documents online. 

For example, the ex-mayor’s name was spelled as “Benhajar Tulawie” both in an election monitor newsletter of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) in 2011 and a resolution released by the regional assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 2013. 

A source close to Tulawie said that “Benhajar Tulawie” died in 2014. 

A social media post by the Sulu Provincial Women Council in 2014 extending condolences to his family affirmed this information.

Never been a legislator

Also included in the list, based on the official transcript of Malacañang, is a certain “Congressman Partylist Jeffrey Celis, Panay Chapter.”

However, there is no “Jeffrey Celis” in the official roster of the House of Representatives found on its website, even in previous years.

Duterte, however, may be referring to “Jeffrey Celiz”, former spokesperson of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who was himself also part of the list. Iloilo City, according to Duterte, is the most “shabulized” province in the Philippines. He coined the term to mean it has been heavily infected with shabu users.

Celiz was also never a legislator but served as chairman and spokesperson of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Panay, according to a 2004 Newsbreak piece, before he worked for Mabilog. 

Wrong spelling, wrong info

Tulawie and Celiz are not the only ones on the list with wrong information. 

Rappler double-checked the names indicated in the official transcript sent by Malacañang against other government documents and found that 14 were misspelled and 27 have inaccurate or incomplete positions and locations.

No other information on Yusofa Monder Bugong Ramin of Iligan City, Lanao del Norte is available as of posting.

Meanwhile, out of the total number of LGU officials mentioned, 31 are incumbent, elected officials. 

Note: Text in bold reflects the correct spelling of the officials’ names.

Name Based on Official Transcript Correct Name Correct position and location? Incumbent?
Reynaldo Flores
Naguilian, La Union
Reynaldo Flores yes yes
Dante Garcia
Tubao, La Union
Dante Garcia yes yes
Martin de Guzman
Bauang, La Union
Martin de Guzman yes yes
Marjorie Apel Salazar
Lasam, Cagayan
Marjorie Apil Salazar yes yes
Goto Violago
San Rafael, Bulacan
Cipriano “Goto” Violago, Jr. yes yes
Marino Morales
Mabalacat, Pampanga
Marino “Boking” Morales yes yes
Felix Castillo
Langiden, Abra
Felix Castillo no indicated position – (a former mayor) no
Ex-Mayor Eufronio Eriguel
Agoo, La Union
Eufranio Eriguel yes no
Jesus Celeste “Boying alias”
Bolinao, Pangasinan
Jesus Celeste no indicated position – (a former mayor) yes (as
congressman)
Jose “Pepe” Miranda
Santiago City, Isabela
Jose “Pepe” Miranda no indicated position – (a former mayor) no
Vicente Amante
San Pablo City, Laguna
Vicente Amante no indicated position – (a former mayor) no
Ryan Dolor
Bauan, Batangas
Ryanh Dolor no indicated position – (a former mayor) no
Vice Mayor Edgardo Trinidad
El Nido, Palawan
Edgardo Trinidad no – (a former vice mayor, not incumbent) no
Alex Centena
Calinog, Iloilo
Alex Centena yes yes
Julius Ronald Pacificador
Hamtic, Antique
Julius Ronald Pacificador yes yes
“Jed Mabilog, I think he’s
the Mayor of Iloilo City”
Jed Mabilog yes yes
Sigfredo Salangutin Betita
Carles, Iloilo
Siegfredo “Salagunting” Betita yes yes
Marciano Malones
Maasin, Iloilo
Mariano Malones yes yes
Michael Rama
the former Mayor of Cebu City
Michael Rama yes  no
Hector Ong
Laoang, Northern Samar
Hector Ong yes yes
Rolando Espinosa
[Albuera, Leyte]
Rolando Espinosa yes yes
Beda Canamaque
Basay, Negros Oriental
Beda Cañamaque yes yes
Ex-Mayor Madeline Ong
Laoang, Northern Samar
Madeleine Mendoza-Ong yes no
Vice Mayor Francis Ansing Amboy
Maasin, Iloilo
Vice Mayor Francis Amboy yes yes
Fralz Sabalones
San Fernando, Cebu
Fralz Sabalones no indicated position –
(an incumbent vice mayor)
yes
Attorney Antonio Pesina
Iloilo City
Antonio Pesina no indicated position – 
(a former councilor)
no
Erwin “Tongtong” Plagata
Iloilo City
Erwin Plagata no indicated position – 
(a former councilor)
no
Abubakar Abdulkarim Afdal
Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur
Abubakar Afdal no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Gamar Ahay Janihim
Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte
Gamar Ahay Janihim yes yes
David Navarro
Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
David Navarro wrong location
(should be Clarin, Misamis Occidental)
yes
Bobby Alingan
Kolambugan, Davao del Norte
Malik “Bobby” Alingan wrong location
(should be Pantar, Lanao del Norte)
no
Yusofa Monder Bugong Ramin
Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
(no info) (no info) (no info)
Jessie Aguilera
Alegria, Surigao del Norte
Jesie Aguilera no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Fahad Salic
Marawi City
Fahad Salic no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Mohammad Ali Abenal
[Marantao, Lanao del Sur]
Mohammadali Abinal no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Jamal Dadayan
Buadiposo-Buntong, Lanao del Sur
Camalodin “Jamal” Dadayan no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Sabdullah Macabago
[Saguiaran], Lanao del Sur
Sabdullah Macabago no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Muslim Aline Macadatu
Lumbatan, Lanao del Sur
Muslimen Alimbaracat Macadato no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Rasul Sangki
Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Rasul Sangki wrong location
(should be Ampatuan, Maguindanao)
yes
Montaser Sabal
Talitay, Maguindanao
Montasir Sabal yes yes
Vicman Montawal
Datu Montawal, Maguindanao
Vicman Montawal yes yes
Samsudin Dimaukom
Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Samsudin Dimaukom yes yes
Norodin Salasal
Datu Salibo, Maguindanao. 
Norodin Salasal yes yes
Ex-mayor: Benahar Tulawie †
Talipao, Sulu
Benhajar Tulawie yes no
Reynaldo Parojinog alias Andong,
the Mayor of Ozamiz City
Reynaldo “Aldong” Parojinog yes yes
Nova Princess Parojinog Echavez
[Ozamiz City]
Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez no indicated position – 
(an incumbent vice mayor)
yes
Omar Solitario Ali
Marawi City
Omar Solitario Ali yes yes
Abdul Wahab Sabal
Vice Mayor ito, Talitay, Maguindanao
Abdulwahab Sabal yes yes
Otto Montawal
Datu Montawal, Maguindanao
Ohto Montawal no indicated position – 
(an incumbent vice mayor)
yes
Nida Dimagkon
Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Nida Dimaukom no indicated position – 
(an incumbent vice mayor)
yes
Arafat Salic
Marawi City
Arafat Salic no indicated position – 
(an incumbent vice mayor)
yes
Rasmiyah Macabago
Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur
Rasmia Macabago no indicated position – 
(a former mayor)
no
Ex-Congressman JC Rahman Nava
Guimaras
Joaquin Carlos Rahman Nava yes no
Congressman Partylist Jeffrey Celis
Panay chapter
Jeffrey Celiz not a congressman (former spokesman of Mayor Jed Mabilog) no
Congressman Guillermo Romarate Jr.
2nd District, Surigao del Norte
Guillermo Romarate Jr no (a former congressman) no
Former 2nd District Board Member
Ricardo Parojinog Ardot
Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog yes no

Raw information?

Despite Duterte’s assurances that the list had been revalidated when he read the names past midnight on Sunday, August 5, the errors and incomplete information indicate the need for more thorough checking. 

As previously reported, a judge included in the list has been dead for 8 years, while a Davao region cop has been dead for 6 years

The President said he would take responsibility for any mistake in his list.

“Any mistake of the military and the police dito (here), ako yung tagasalo (I will take responsibility). I ordered the listing, revalidation, I am the one reading it and I am the sole person responsible for the same,” he said. – with research by Michael Bueza/Rappler.com

Do you have information to correct or add to what’s on the Duterte list? Rappler is crowdsourcing information on the individuals on Duterte’s list. Comment below or email investigative@rappler.com for confidential information. Or simply tag @rapplerdotcom on Twitter.

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.