MANILA - (UPDATED) The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) hopes to bare this week the names of barangay officials in President Rodrigo Duterte's "narco list," the agency's chief said Wednesday.
Speaking to DZMM, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said he has received a "go signal" to publish the list that he claims has been validated. It includes 211 barangay officials across the country.
"Ito po ay sa PRRD (Duterte) list. Ang PRRD list po o narco list na tinatawag natin ay validated reports... Nakakalap na po ng ebidensiya laban sa nga mga ito," he said.
Aquino earlier told DZMM that 216 names are in the narco list. But he later clarified that 5 of the names in the list have yet to be validated.
Without citing official figures, he said majority of the officials involved were listed as drug protectors.
The PDEA announcement comes just ahead of the May 14 barangay elections. But Aquino said not all in the narco list are running for the upcoming polls.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said they will file charges against barangay officials linked to illegal drugs.
PDEA data showed that as of March 20, 2018, 4,075 drug-linked individuals have been killed while 91,704 anti-illegal drug operations have been carried out since Duterte assumed office in July 2016.
Government data further showed that out of the total 2,467 drug-related homicide incidents recorded, 1,752 are still under investigation, while 715 have been solved.
Aquino, meanwhile, also announced 6 mayors have been added to the narco list. The list, he said, now has a total of 93 names, all still for validation.
- Patrick Quintos and Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News