President Rodrigo Duterte did not name governors involved in illegal drugs when he met with them on Thursday in Malacanang.
“Wala siyang binanggit na governor, kahit pangalan o number, wala siyang binanggit,” Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla said in an interview on DZMM.
But Petilla said Duterte has a list of alleged narco-politicians which he will hand over to the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). The DILG, in turn, will give each of them their own copies.
The President also asked governors to exercise their supervisory powers over local officials who may be involved in the illegal drugs trade.
“Alam naman niya na kami civilian di naman kami pulis. Meron tayong ibang ways to deal with brangay officials. Pakiusapan na tumigil or let them explain or pakinggan sila kung totoo ba yun,” he said.
“That's why ako rin I’m looking forward na mabigyan ng kopya, as far as officials ng Leyte is concerned, para masimulan natin para maayos ito.”
Petilla said the drug menace is also their problem, noting that illegal drug use went up after super typhoon Yolanda struck.
“Doon nag expand ng mabilis, nag take advantage ang mga personalities sa illegal drugs sa Leyte. We have to do something,” he said.
Last year, Duterte revealed the names of sitting and retired local government officials, policemen and lawmen who are allegedly involved in the trade. One of those tagged by the president was Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.
Espinosa, the father of self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa, was arrested in October of last year for illegal drug possession. He was shot inside his jail cell on November 5 while being served a search warrant by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region 8.
Meanwhile, Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu said he is fully behind Duterte’s war on drugs and anti-terrorism campaign.
Mangudadatu said the President himself asked governors to support his war on drugs and campaign against terrorism during Thursday’s meeting.
The governor said he will coordinate with the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, barangay officials and local chief executives in different municipalities in the province to relay to them the plans and programs that Duterte wants to implement in the community.
Mangudadatu believes education is one of the important aspects in combating illegal drugs and terrorism. He said he will ask the community and parents to let their children go to school to educate them on the dangers of terrorism and illegal drugs.
For the past 6 months, based on the accomplishment report of the Maguindanao Provincial Police Office, there were 293 persons arrested in the war against drugs in 183 operations conducted. Eight persons were killed and 12,176 drug pushers and users surrendered to the authorities. With reports from Jasper Acosta, ABS-CBN News and DZMM