EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW
MANILA, Philippines — Thirteen judges and 10 prosecutors are included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of personalities allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), however, has no plan to release their names.
PDEA director general Aaron Aquino said that the judges and prosecutors on the list are not yet a priority as validation efforts are being pushed still on the case build-up against the 46 politicians named by President Duterte.
Aquino said the list of judges, prosecutors and other drug personalities would still be validated before the names disclosed.
“We have two lists, the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte list and the other the PDEA watchlist,” Aquino clarified on the move to archive the names yet.
“The PRRD list is a validated one. Some of them are included in our watchlist, too, but we have not yet verified or validated these.”
Aquino admitted that he has had some frustrations in dealing with the judiciary, especially when there are drug cases dismissed and suspects acquitted.
The PDEA chief cited one instance wherein the agency was even accused of planting evidence that led to the acquittal of the daughter of a convicted drug trafficker in Manila.
He said that the PDEA is frustrated that their efforts are wasted with the dismissal of cases they have filed.
Aquino said that if he was directed by Duterte to release the names, he would do so, but the validation of the accusations would take time.
Philippine National Police spokesman Senior Supt. Bernard Banac said the involvement of judges and prosecutors is not new and the PNP is getting information on them as it is doing with drug personalities in other sectors.
Banac said the PNP and the interagency committee on illegal drugs are continuing the gathering of information against erring judges, celebrities and other personalities.
The first 45
Fourty-five mayors, meanwhile, has been the first filed complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged failure or refusal to create Anti-Illegal Drugs Abuse Councils in their areas—as filed by the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that the complaint was filed against the second batch of 25 mayors on Wednesday afternoon. The first batch of complaints against 20 mayors were filed on March 14.
“Despite several directives from the DILG and the Dangerous Drugs Board, the concerned mayors still failed or refused to comply with the said orders and their towns are among those that are without an organized and functional ADAC,” Año said.
DILG, as said by Año that there more names still to be included—and validated.