Sotto warns DDB vs. plans to release narco-politicians list

MANILASenate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday cautioned the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) over its plan to release to the public the list of narco-politicians, saying there could be a possibility some persons may have been wrongly included on the list.

In an interview at the Senate, Sotto said the DDB should also look into the perspective that the reputation of politicians could be unjustifiably tarnished if the list is not carefully validated before it is released to the public.

May ibang paraan na pwedeng gawin, huwag lang lock, stock ang barrel ay bigla mong ilalabas sa nationwide na dyaryo o ia-announce ang mga pangalan. Una baka ma-pollute yung listahan, tapos hindi validated. Baka may mga madamay (There are other ways to do it, not only just releasinglock, stock and barrel - the list in nationwide newspapers or announcing the names. First, the list could be polluted, and then not validated. Somebody might be wrongly implicated)," Sotto said.

Sotto, former DDB chair, believes that there are other approaches that the board may pursue to make the voters become aware of public officials involved in illegal drugs, other than releasing the supposed list.

Among them is a more focused campaign in the grassroots level involving both the DDB and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

I would rather think that they should do a different approach. Siguro, mas kampanya on the ground. Kung alam mong sa area na itoinvolved si ganito, involved si ganun, let the people know that (More campaign on the ground, I think. If you know that this or that person is involved in this), Sotto said.

He said the DILG should be able play a pivotal role in this approach by suspending officials involved in drugs that already have cases filed against them.

That will be a message already to the voters, Sotto said.

The DDB on Monday said it is in favor of releasing to the public the list of narco-politicians to guide the voters in the 2019 mid-term elections.

It would be advantageous and beneficial for the voters to know the background of the candidates in the area, especially if there are allegations or reports of involvement in illegal drug activities, DDB chair Catalino Cuy said in a press briefing.

In the same media briefing, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino said he is just waiting for guidance from President Rodrigo Duterte if he will permit the agency to disclose the list to the public.

He said there are supposedly 85 politicians on the narco list, consisting of vice mayors, mayors, vice governors, governors and congressmen. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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