MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday offered his condolences to the family of slain Los Baños, Laguna Mayor Caesar Perez, but denied that he was the one responsible for the latter's inclusion in his so-called "narco list."
"'Yung mga anak ni Perez, first of all, I'm sorry that your father died in the way it happened. Pero kung sabihin mong may...'yang listahan na 'yan, hindi akin 'yan. It's a collation, lahat lahat na 'yan, sa intelligence report, sa mga drug enforcement, at sa intelligence ng military, police. It's a combination," Duterte said during his weekly public address.
(To the children of Perez, first of all, I'm sorry your father died the way he did. But to say that...that list, that's not mine. It's a collation, all of it, it's from intelligence reports, from drug enforcement [agencies], from military and police intelligence. It's a combination.)
Duterte also said he does not personally know Perez, and cannot remember reading his name from the drug list.
"Hindi ko kilala 'yung tatay ninyo. Hindi ko nga nabasa, I don't remember. Well, 'yung cursory reading lang, pero wala akong minemorize na mga tao doon sa listahan," he said.
(I don't know your father. I cannot remember reading his name. Well, I only did some cursory reading, but I did not memorize the people on the list.)
"I'm sorry if your father was there, but really, most of those, nasa droga talaga. Your father might be an exception, if you believe firmly that he was not guilty or liable of anything, well that's good. But the problem, his name, umabot sa listahan," Duterte added.
(I'm sorry if your father was there, but really, most of those in the list are really involved in illegal drugs. Your father might be an exception, if you believe firmly that he was not guilty or liable of anything, well that's good. But the problem is that his name made it to the list.)
Duterte claimed it is his duty to inform Filipinos of those public officials who are involved in illegal drugs, so that they won't be elected again.
"Hindi sa akin 'yan. Ibinigay lang sa akin. Hindi ako gumagawa ng listahan, hindi ako pulis, hindi ako intelligence. Nandito lang ako sa opisina ko sa Pasig, nagta-trabaho," he said.
(That [list] is not mine. It's just given to me. I did not come up with that list. I am not a policeman, I am not a member of the intelligence team. I am just here in my office in the Pasig River, working.)
"As a matter of an obligation, I had to come up with the name of those suspected so that the public will be aware and prevent their ascension to public office. 'Yun ang purpose ko doon (That's my purpose [in reading the list])," he added.
Perez was gunned down inside the municipal hall in Los Baños Thursday night.
Last year, he was included in the Duterte administration's list of politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs.
Perez denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade and blasted the release of the list as "unfair" and politically motivated.
Following Perez' death, the total number of local executives killed during the Duterte administration rose to 22.
Rodrigo Duterte, Caesar Perez, Los Banos Mayor Caesar Perez, narco-politician, narco list, war on drug, Duterte administration war on drugs