46 NAMED IN NARCO LIST
President Rodrigo Duterte released the list of 46 local government officials who are allegedly linked to illegal drug trade.
Ahead of the May 13 mid-term elections, Duterte bared the drug list during the National and Regional Peace and Order Council meeting at Arcadia in Davao City.
“My decision to unmask these drug personalities was anchored on my trust in the government agencies who have vetted and validated the narco-list,” he said.
The President called to the government officials that “Public office is a public trust."
“An official’s right to privacy is not absolute and there is a compelling reason to prioritize the interest of the state and the people,” he explained.
“As your President, my ultimate concern is the pursuit of order in government and the welfare of the Filipino people. My administration assures you of our dedication to change the lives of Filipinos now, not tomorrow,” he added.
Duterte specially mentioned names that according to him he said had frequently evaded in the past.
The President said that the 46 alleged narco-politicians are only the names which have been validated and vetted by government agencies. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) however, maintained their position that the list is imperfect and might have ‘mistakes’.
In the opposition circle, Duterte named 13 local politicians who are running against PDP-Laban candidates. Twelve of them are running for mayor and one for vice mayor.
Duterte pointed out he is not interested if he bares the names before and after the May election.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday filed complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against the 46 officials.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that PDEA provided the initial list. The names listed are as follows:
- Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte Mayor Ferdinand Dancel Aguinaldo (re-electionist);
2. Ilocos congressman Jesus Celeste (did not file COC);
3. Lasam, Cagayan Valley Mayor Marjorie Apil Salazar (running for councilor);
4. San Rafael, Bulacan Mayor Cipriano Dungao Violago Jr. (re-electionist);
5. Camiling, Tarlac Mayor Erlon Clemente Agustin (re-electionist);
6. Subic, Zambales Mayor Jefferson Fernandez Khonghun (running for vice governor of Zambales);
7. Zambales congressman Jeffrey D. Khonghun (re-electionist);
8. Bay, Laguna Mayor Bruno Tolentino Ramos (did not file COC);
9. Los Baños, Laguna Mayor Caesar Pabalete Perez (re-electionist);
10. Rodriguez, Rizal Mayor Cecilio C. Hernandez (running for vice mayor);
11. Rodriguez, Rizal Vice Mayor Dennis Linco Hernandez (running for mayor);
12. Lemery, Batangas Mayor Eulalio Mendoza Alilio (re-electionist);
13. Ibaan, Batangas Mayor Juan Valencia Toreja (did not file COC);
14. San Pablo City, Laguna Mayor Loreto Sahagun Amante (re-electionist);
15. Teresa, Rizal Mayor Raul S. Palino (re-electionist);
16. Lucena City, Quezon Mayor Roderick Alcantara Alcala (re-electionist);
17. Rizal Province Board Member Rommel Cruz Ayuson (re-electionist);
18. El Nido, Palawan Mayor Nieves Cabuñalda (re-electionist);
19. Culasi, Antique Mayor Ariel Tabugo Alagos Jr. (re-electionist);
20. Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Escalante Mabilog (did not file COC, cannot be located);
21. Hamtic, Antique Mayor Julius Ronald Leyritana Pacificador (running for vice mayor);
22. Maasin, Iloilo Mayor Mariano Malficio Malones Sr. (running for vice mayor);
23. Siegfredo Alfuente Betita of Carles, Iloilo (running for mayor);
24. San Fernando, Cebu Vice Mayor Franz Cabilao Sabalones (did not file COC);
25. Daang Bantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Areño Loot (did not file COC);
26. Eastern Visayas congressman Vicente Sofronio Veloso (running for congressman);
27. Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte Mayor Gamar Ahay Janihim (re-electionist);
28. Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Leonida Albor Angcap (re-electionist);
29. Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental Mayor Crisinciano Enot Mahilac (did not file COC);
30. Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Mabal Navarro (re-electionist);
31. Calamba, Misamis Occidental Mayor Ezel Tabuelog Villanueva (re-electionist);
32. Oroquieta City Mayor Jason Paredes Almonte (running for congressman);
33. Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat Mayor Abubakar Pendatun Maulana (running for vice mayor);
34. Banga, South Cotabato Mayor Albert Palencia (re-electionist);
35. Sto. Niño, South Cotabato Mayor Pablo Mondejar Matinong Jr. (re-electionist);
36. Lingig, Surigao del Sur Mayor Roberto Malijao Luna Jr. (re-electionist);
37. Talitay, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Abdulwahad M. Sabal (running for mayor);
38. Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Anida A. Dimaukom (running for mayor);
39. Marawi City Vice Mayor Arafat Alim Salic (did not file COC, at large in connection to Marawi siege);
40. Maguing, Lanao del Sur Vice Mayor Jamal Abinal Pangandamun (re-electionist);
41. Maguing, Lanao del Sur Mayor Mamaulan Abinal Mulok (re-electionist);
42. Talitay, Maguindanao former Mayor Montasser Meling Sabal (running for vice mayor);
43. Datu Montawal, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal (running for mayor, at large);
44. Ampatuan, Maguindanao Mayor Rasul Mabang Sangki (re-electionist);
45. Datu Montawal, Maguindanao Mayor Vicman Kambang Montawal (for vice mayor); and
46. Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan Mayor Jamar Abdulla Mansul (did not file COC).
Hours after the list was released, certain politicians immediately took their turn to explain.
Lucena city mayor Roderick Alcala was one who first reacted. His name was included in President Rodrigo Duterte's list of politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs.
Alcala blamed the patriarch of a rival political family in Quezon province for his inclusion in the roster.
He said that Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez threatened him over the phone that he would release documents against him unless he stops a certain broadcaster.
Alcala said his inclusion was "politically motivated" and that he had heard of his possible inclusion even before it was announced.
"Alam ko na on my part na sila ang behind dito, ginagawan nila ng paraan para tayo ay ma-link dito. Isang malakas na puwersa dito sa lalawigan at ito ang ginagawa nila," he said.
(I know on my part that they are behind this, they found a way to link me to this. A powerful force in the province and this is what they did.)
Alcala, who is running for his last term under Duterte's PDP-Laban, said Suarez was up against his uncle for the gubernatorial seat in Quezon. Suarez's son is hoping to replace the lawmaker in the House of Representatives but is against another among the Alcala's uncles.
The mayor said his inclusion in the list was meant to "paralyze" the 160,000 votes coming from his hometown.
Rep. Vicente Veloso (3rd Dist., Leyte) also denied any involvement in the drug trade and said he would call for a House inquiry into how the government's "narco list" was made.
He said that he would also file criminal charges against those responsible for putting him on the list but said the congressional inquiry will come first.
"It is important that a lot of people be spared form the rigors I am going through," Veloso said.
He said he had previously asked PDEA acting regional director Edgar Jubay if he is on the list and had been told he is not. "He said I cannot be [on the list] because I am their partner in the crusade against drugs in Leyte," he said.
According to the report on GMA News' "News To Go", the following local officials have also issued denials of their alleged involvement in illegal drugs:
- Mayor Jefferson Khonghun (Subic, Zambales)
- Mayor Larry Alilio (Lemery, Batangas)
- Mayor Erlon Agustin (Camiling, Tarlac)
- Mayor Jamar Abdullah Mansul (Madji Mutahmad, Basilan)
- Vice Mayor Ottoh Montawal (Datu Montawal, Maguindanao)
PDEA stands by with the president on the list. However, they are still verifying the names included are indeed have taken part in the illegal drug trade.
Acting upon orders
DILG Secretary said the initial list of narco pols facing charges before the Ombudsman were provided by the PDEA.
The initial list released to the public by the President includes 35 mayors, seven (7) vice-mayors, one (1) provincial board member, and three (3) members of the House of Representatives.
Año said the 46 ‘narco pols’ are facing administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and gross neglect of duty.
According to the DILG Chief, the involvement of the respondents to illegal drugs was evaluated and judiciously validated by the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) chaired by PDEA in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), among others.
50 more up for validation: DILG
After revealing 46 names of local politicians involved in various illegal drug activities, President Duterte is set to expose 50 more politicians who are currently under validation.
Año said that the 50 names are the ones that were not read by the President during the joint National and Regional Peace and Order Council meeting here Thursday evening.
The DILG chief said that there are actually 96 names of local government officials in the narco-list, 46 of which were already revealed by the President.
"Yung iba under validation kaya meron pang susunod dyan na i-release ng Pangulo (Others are still under validation so more will be released by the President),” he said.
According to Año, validation began in 2017.
“Their (officials’) involvement is varied – may protector, may coddlers, yung iba involved talaga (there are protectors and coddlers, others are really involved),” he said.
Año said some of the politicians in the list have been dismissed.
“Others are still under suspension, pero sinama na rin namin dahil pwede pa silang tumakbo (Others are still under suspension but we have included them in the list because there is no finality yet from the courts and the Office of the Ombudsman on their cases so they can still run),” he added.
(With reports from Philippine News Agency, Philippine Star and GMA News)