Charges filed vs 46 alleged narco politicians

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Charges filed vs 46 alleged narco politicians

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) – March 15, 2019 – 12:00am

Duterte names 43 LGU officials, 3 congressmen

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) filed graft and administrative charges yesterday before the Office of the Ombudsman against 43 local executives and three congressmen for alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

President Duterte read out the names of the 46 so-called narco politicians during the National Peace and Order Council meeting held  in Davao City last night.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the initial list of alleged narco politicians came from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). 

The list consists of 35 mayors, seven vice mayors, three congressmen and one provincial board member. 

In a statement released last night, Año said the politicians are facing administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest, conduct unbecoming of a public officer and gross neglect of duty.

Criminal charges related to drug offenses are expected to be filed as well against the 46.

Año said the involvement of the respondents in illegal drugs was evaluated and validated by the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) chaired by PDEA in coordination with the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and other offices.

 “The DILG’s involvement in the ICAD is impelled by its statutory role as general supervisor of local government units (LGUs) and their officials to ensure that they are performing their duties and functions under the law,” Año said. 

Duterte said the narco list he bared last night was only the start, with more to be named after validation:  “For the time being, ito muna kasi validated na eh.Yung iba huwag muna kasi di pa validated eh.”

He vowed to make life difficult for those engaged in the illegal drug trade, including politicians, in the three more years of his administration.

“Even if I have to burn in hell, I will really do it if you insist on destroying my country,” the President said.

Duterte pointed out how these local officials, especially those from the provinces, are not drug addicts themselves.

“These are the people who you think they are clean and that they send their children to schools abroad and they even brag about it in their Facebook posts with snow-capped mountains at the back,” the President said.

The President said corresponding charges would have to be filed against those included in the narco list that was released less than two months before the midterm polls in May

Not one among those the President mentioned in the list is from Southern Mindanao. 

However, among those mentioned by the President was Iloilo Mayor Jed Mabilog, who is said to have fled the country is now believed to either be in the United States of in Canada. – With Edith Regalado, Emmanuel Tupas