PDEA: 'Narcolist' verified for 14 months; case build-up continues

PDEA: 'Narcolist' verified for 14 months; case build-up continues

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) assured on Friday that the recently released ‘narcolist’ went through sufficient verification, with the revalidation process conducted by several agencies lasting 14 months.

The agency also revealed that a case build-up for more politicians allegedly involved in illegal drugs is ongoing.

“The 46 narco politicians, whose names were announced by President [Rodrigo] Duterte is a product of almost 14 months revalidation and workshop of Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as a resource [agency],” the PDEA said.

“This is only the partial list of narco politicians. Others are still being revalidated while there are some who were transferred to the civilian list since they are no longer holding or running for public office,” the PDEA said.

Despite concerns from critics, Duterte announced on Thursday the names of 35 mayors, seven vice mayors, a provincial board member, and three members of the House of Representatives allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

“The names of politicians that were not announced are subject for continuous validation and case build-up by the intelligence agencies of the government,” the PDEA said.

PDEA said it will forward a copy of the summary of information on the three lawmakers included in the list to the Committee on Ethics and Privilege of the House of Representatives.

PDEA also stressed that the government has a “greater responsibility to the state and the public because the interest of the majority is greater than that of the erring few.”

However, the agency said the politicians mentioned by Duterte on Thursday will still be given the opportunity to “defend their rights, seek relief, or set forth their claims” as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had filed cases against them before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Basically, their rights are still afforded them,” PDEA said. /ee