NOT INVOLVED | Politicians in Duterte narco-list deny drug involvement
4 days ago
(MARCH 15, 2019) – Several politicians included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s narco-list denied involvement in illegal drugs.
During a command conference in Davao City late last night, the president tagged 35 mayors, seven vice mayors, three congressmen and a provincial board member for alleged drug involvement and are now facing administrative charges.
Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso denied being a narco-politician, saying he was cleared of the said allegations through a hearing in Congress with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
He also claimed helping the PDEA in its anti-drug operations in Leyte.
“If I was cleared by the regional director, ang tanong ko ngayon, sino sa PDEA higher ups and naglagay sa pangalan ko?” Veloso said via phoner in Radyo Singko.
“I’m sure na malapit na kasi ang election. PDEA is PDEA,” he added without further elaboration.
San Rafael, Bulacan reelectionist mayor Cipriano Violago Jr. also dismissed the allegations, saying he is subject for “de-listing” and had been “cleared” as a result of a series of investigations which began in August 2016.
“Hindi na ako nagulat nang makasama ang pangalan ng inyong lingkod sa listahang inilabas ngayong gabi. Dahil alam na alam ko naman kung sino ang nasa likod nito: ang ating kalaban sa pulitika na ginagamit ang kanyang koneksyon upang sirain ang pangalan ng inyong Punong Bayan,” Violago said in a Facebook post, vowing to face investigations anew coming his way.
Subic mayor Jay Khonghun, who’s running for vice governor of Zambales, denied his involvenent as well in a Facebook video posted on Wednesday, even before Duterte released the list.
A political rival’s constant attacks linking him to being a drug protector prompted him to make the video.
“Hindi na po namin kailangang gawin na magprotekta ng droga or maging druglord dahil hindi naman po kami ganun kahirap,” Khonghun. said.
“Bakit naman po namin kailangang gawin ‘yun? Meron po kaming mga pamilyang kailangang alagaan at protektahan.”
The Department of the Interior and Local Government provided a copy of the “narco-list” but secretary Eduardo Año maintained they were not involved in the verification process.
A vetting team comprised of PDEA, PNP, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency conducted the verification. The President will be informed once validation is done.
“Kami ay nasama riyan sapagkat na-involve ang local government officials,” Año said. “Our job is to appropriate actions… such as filing administrative cases.”
Meanwhile, Duterte clarified that there are also other names included in the list but are yet to be validated.
The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) earlier announced its plan to release a list of “narco-politicians” before the elections so that voters will have an idea on the background of candidates in their areas.
As of posting, News5 is still reaching other politicians involved for comment.