Duterte stands by veracity of 'drug matrix' despite 'errors'

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2016 03:04 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2016 03:28 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte stood by the veracity of the drug matrix he presented to the public despite several "errors" that tagged innocent government officials as narcopoliticians.

Duterte said the apology he issued to former Pangasinan governor and now Rep. Amado Espino should not water down the legitimacy of his drug matrix.

"As a lawyer, when you make public a certain wrong against a person, you'd have effectively destroyed his reputation. For the third time and the last time, I am offering my apology to Governor Espino," Duterte said Wednesday.

Baraan was indicted for for the illegal black sand mining trade in the Lingayen Gulf area, Duterte clarified.

"But (former Justice Undersecretary Francisco) Baraan and the (former justice) secretary (Leila De Lima), kasama yun I am sure," he added. [But I am sure that former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan and former justice secretary Leila De Lima are there on that list.]

On Tuesday, Duterte said he was very sorry and that "we were negligent in counter-checking during the first report."

“But trabaho ko iyan, it is part of my territory. I cannot be perfect and sometimes you are correct when you say that life is never fair,” Duterte said.

The President said he will give more details about the drug matrix after he returns from his two-day trip to Vietnam.

He said he will talk about the involvement of "judges, congressmen, mayors, barangay captains, and police and military officials" in the illegal drug trade in the country.