MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) vowed “due process” for politicians in President Rodrigo Duterte’s narco-list, as the agency defended Duterte’s decision to release it.
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News on Friday, DILG undersecretary for barangay affairs Martin Diño confirmed that cases against politicians in the narco-list have been filed in court and the Ombudsman.
He, however, couldn't specify how many in the list have been charged.
"Basta't ang amin, may nakasuhan na diyan at meron pang sasampahan. At ito naman, dadaan tayo sa due process," he said.
(As far as we’re concerned, some people on the list are already facing cases, and we will file cases against the others. And we will subject this to due process.)
During his speech in Davao City on Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte released the government's list of politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs.
Various groups and politicians earlier questioned the motive and timing of the release of the narco-list ahead of the May midterm polls.
But Diño defended Duterte's move.
"Obligasyon namin, dapat malaman ng taumbayan ang sitwasyon ng ilegal na droga sa bansa. Hindi na bago ‘yan, naglabas tayo ng listahan. Validated ‘yan, apat na ahensya ng pamahalaan," Diño stressed.
(It’s our obligation to let the people know the situation of illegal drugs in our country. That’s not new, we have released a list before. That’s validated by four agencies of government.)
Diño refused to comment directly on the narco-list being an alleged “hit list.”
"Alam mo, ‘pag ikaw pumasok sa government service, ang isang paa mo nasa hukay. ‘Yung mga gumagawa ng mabuti nag-aalala, eh ‘di lalo ‘yung gumagawa ng masama, talagang mag-alala kayo," he warned.
(You know, if you enter government service, you already have one foot in the grave. Those who do good worry, what more those doing evil.)
Several of those tagged in the narco-list already denied involvement with illegal drugs.
In April 2018, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency bared the names of more than 200 village officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. The list was released two weeks before the barangay polls.