Narco-list release before polls up to Duterte: police chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2019 11:57 AM

MANILA - The release of another list of politicians allegedly involved in narcotics will be up to President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine National Police said Monday.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Saturday said he will meet with police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency about publicizing the narco-list before the local election campaign period, which starts on March 30.

"It will be up to the decision of the Commander-in-Chief. If he decides to divulge the list then we will support his decision," PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde told reporters.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino earlier said he prefers lodging charges against politicians allegedly involved with narcotics instead of releasing the list, but he would follow Duterte's instructions on the matter.

PDEA last year released a narco-list tagging some 200 village officials ahead of the barangay elections.

The Commission on Human Rights on Sunday said it recognizes that the list is meant to ensure that only deserving and law-abiding candidates get elected, but that "presumption of innocence is a Constitutionally-guaranteed right."

"If there is enough evidence for the government to put names in a supposed narco-list, then the just way to proceed is to file appropriate charges against these personalities to make them accountable before our laws," CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said.

With a report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News