Hold that narco list — solon

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian yesterday slammed the plan of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to release the names of politicians included in their narco list and urged them to instead file cases in court if indeed they got solid evidence against the personalities in their list.

“Instead of releasing the narco list to dissuade voters from electing suspected narco politicians, the Dangerous Drugs Board should file criminal and administrative cases against the politicians on the narco list. If there is solid evidence to pin down these narco-politicians, then the DDB should by all means file cases against them,” Gatchalian in his statement yesterday.

While he agrees that “narcopols” are unfit for public office and should be thrown in jail, Gatchalian insisted that simply releasing the list may not be a wise move.

“We have seen too many times in the past how unreliable the intel on these lists can be. Releasing an unverified narco list which is unsupported by evidence will unfairly prejudice the named personalities,” he said.

He added that releasing the list may also endanger the lives of these personalities and must be avoided by the state if they do not have strong evidence to support their claim.

Earlier, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Aaron Aquino said that there are about 85 politicians on the narco list consisting of congressmen, governors, vice governors, mayors and vice mayors.

The agency expects that drug money will again prevail once the election period on 2019 goes full swing.  The official noted that during the barangay and SK polls, they received reports that corrupt candidates shelled out as high as P25,000 for every family in exchange for their votes.