Senators back case build-up vs. 27 ‘narco-politicians’

MANILA Two senators on Tuesday supported the move of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct an investigation and case build-up against 27 alleged narco-politicians who won in the May 13 midterm elections.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said drug money could have been involved and ensured the victory of these suspected drug personalities amid their inclusion on President Rodrigo R. Duterte's narco-list.

"I agree with Chief PNP (Gen. Oscar Albayalde). Charges against them should be pursued," Sotto told reporters in a text message.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, said that while he agrees with the launching of an investigation against the alleged narco-politicians, the police should gather solid evidence to be used in filing criminal and administrative charges against them.

"I agree with C/PNP Albayalde, except that they should continue gathering solid evidence and build up strong cases against those winning candidates first before conducting any police operations against them, or shaming them publicly on the basis of mere intelligence reports," Lacson said.

Senator Richard Gordon earlier called for an investigation into the victory of the alleged narco-politicians, who ran for various positions in different provinces and municipalitiesm since there were "massive, flagrant and scandalous" vote-buying in these areas.

Gordon said an extensive investigation should be conducted by different agencies such as the Commission on Elections, the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the National Bureau of Investigation and the PNP.

"While vote-buying may have become commonplace to some people, the inordinate, flagrant and scandalous vote-buying in areas where the narco-politicians won must be investigated. A lot of vote-buying occurred and there are affidavits to show that. Where there are massive vote-buying, cash was used," Gordon said.

According to Albayalde, out of 47 personalities who are on the narco list, 37 ran and 27 won.

Abayalde refused to reveal the names of the 27 politicians but said some of them won in the mayoral and gubernatorial elections.

Last March, Duterte released the list containing the names of politicians allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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