DILG Sec. Eduardo Año. INQUIRER.net file photo
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Friday it will still pursue the administrative cases filed against politicians included on the “narcolist” who won in the 2019 elections.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the politicians have no right to circumvent the law even if they won in the recent elections.
“Kahit na pinalad silang manalo, tuloy pa rin ang administrative cases laban sa kanila. Hindi pa rin sila makakalusot kung sila ay mapapatunayang sangkot talaga sa iligal na droga,” Año said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Año said the department considers it a “win” for the government and the country when some of the so-called “narcopoliticians” lost in the elections.
“The purpose of President Duterte in releasing the names was to inform the public of the local officials who are linked to the drug trade,” he said.
“The fact that some of them lost is already a substantial victory for us because if we didn’t release the names, more, if not all, could have won the election,” Año added.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier revealed that 37 of the total 46 “narcopoliticans” ran for re-election in the 2019 midterm elections. Twenty-seven of them won.
READ: 27 narcopols back in office – PNP
Among them were two congressmen, one vice governor, 18 mayors, three vice mayors, one councilor and one board member from Calabarzon, BARMM, Eastern Visayas, Ilocos Region, Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas, Central Luzon, Zamboanga Peninsula, SOCCKSARGEN, and Caraga.
In March, the DILG filed administrative complaints against the 46 incumbent local officials for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Año said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will pursue the criminal cases against the alleged “narcopoliticians.”
He added that the DILG is in close coordination with the PNP, PDEA, and other government agencies tasked in the war on drugs for the pursuit of all cases against the winning “narcopoliticians.”
The DILG chief also pointed out that it is possible that “drug money” was used during the campaign period.
“It’s not impossible that drug money was used in the campaign, so, that could have been a factor in their victory considering the prevalence of vote buying in the last election,” Año said.
He added that the department is also closely coordinating with the National Police Commission for the removal of police deputation powers of the winning “narcopoliticans” ahead of their official assumption of office on June 30. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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