MANILA – After President Rodrigo Duterte revealed his list of so-called ''narco-officials,'' the Palace said Wednesday it will also soon come up with a list of ''clean governors and mayors."
Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar said the administration thought it would be better to name local government units (LGU) and officials with untainted reputations.
''Naming the 'clean governors and mayors' was borne out of my usual media meeting with the Executive Secretary [Salvador Medialdea]. We thought that it was also proper to celebrate the untainted reputation of LGU executives when it comes to illegal drugs,'' Andanar said in a statement.
''Based on the list, there are more clean governors and mayors than LGU executives who are suspected to be in the illegal drugs business."
Duterte last Sunday named over 150 judges, former and incumbent government officials, and law enforcers who are suspected of involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Even if no formal investigation has started against those named, Duterte and Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa have asked these individuals to surrender and clear their names.
However, doubts have been cast over the accuracy and credibility of the list after some of the persons mentioned were found to be dead.
Others named by Duterte have denied involvement in the illegal drug trade, saying the the president's list must be revalidated.
Amid concerns that Duterte's naming and shaming violates the principle of due process, the Palace said Tuesday that Duterte's bold move was needed since the country is faced with a ''clear and present danger."
Duterte also risked a clash with the judiciary, a co-equal branch of the executive, when he named seven judges, one of whom is dead.
Andanar said by naming the judges allegedly involved in the drug trade, Duterte gave them ''every chance and opportunity to be prepared to defend themselves, clear their names if they are innocent, and alert the community of their involvement in drugs if they are guilty."
''Not everybody will applaud him for his audacity, but the President is putting his life, his honor, and the presidency at stake. His love for the people is greater than his fear for his own life, or the fear of embarrassment, failure, or mistake,'' he added.