PHILIPPINE National Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Bernard M. Banac yesterday maintained the need to have enough evidence against so-called narco-politicians before their names are made public in time for the May 13 national and local elections.
“In the past we have heard lots of stories about politicians using drug money to fund their campaign, but we have to base our statements on evidence, on hard facts. Our gathering of information is ongoing and there has to be credible witnesses, evidence,” the member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1992 told ABS-CBN’s ANC in an interview.
Banac said that for the meantime, the PNP headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde is very much busy going after all identified drug personalities regardless of their rank or stature.
“As far as the PNP is concerned, we will continue to enforce the law. Whether you’re a politician or not, if you get into illegal drugs, then we’ll go after you and arrest you and put you in jail,” he emphasized.
Both Gen. Albayalde and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Chair Director General Aaron N. Aquino have called on the voting public to reject narco-politicians gunning for seats in the forthcoming May 13 polls.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año has repeatedly made it clear he wants the disqualification of politicians involved in illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the mid-term election.
The DILG chief had said that there are at least 93 local officials included in the PDEA drug list, 58 of them mayors.
Since the start of the Duterte presidency, police have launched a massive campaign against so-called narco-politicians resulting in the killing of some mayors, vice mayors and barangay officials in the President’s watch list.
They include Ozamis City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.