9,000 barangay chiefs on narco-list—DILG
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s “narco” list includes 9,000 barangay captains, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Sunday.
“The President has decided. He has a list of 9,000 barangay captains who are directly involved [in the drug trade],” said Martin Diño, DILG undersecretary for barangay affairs. “The DILG will definitely move on this issue.”
Diño, a former barangay captain, said those linked to drugs would be removed from office.
His warning comes two months ahead of barangay elections.
Diño said he would not only name the officials, but would remove them immediately and file cases against them so they would rot in jail.
He also warned barangay officials to submit their list of drug suspects to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or face the consequences—a warning, followed by suspension, then removal from office.
Earlier, PDEA director Aaron Aquino said there are almost 300 barangay officials linked to illegal drugs.
The agency urged the public not to vote for candidates who are involved in illegal drugs in this year’s barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
“Reject those barangay candidates who are involved in illegal drug activities. They do not deserve the people’s votes,” Aquino said in a statement Sunday.
Aquino said that it is very likely that drug money may seep into the electoral process of barangay elections due to the influence of drug syndicates.
“Obviously, they [drug syndicates] will only support local candidates who will give them protection in return,” the PDEA said.
“Incumbent barangay officials, or prospective bets who are linked to drugs, may continue to lord it over the polls. We do not want that to happen. Our destiny lies in our own hands. We are appealing to the public to wisely choose our next community leaders,” he added.
There are 289 barangay officials (143 barangay chairmen and 146 barangay kagawads ) on the narco-list of President Duterte, Aquino said.
“The number is expected to increase once the validated list of barangay officials engaged in the drug trade who are included in the PDEA National Drug Information System [NDIS], [are included],” Aquino said.
“PDEA is urging barangays to activate their respective Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils [BADACs], and be cooperative and pro-active in the anti-illegal drug campaign,” he added.
Aquino said that in the absence of a functioning BADACs, there is a high probability that these barangays have officials who are involved in the illegal drug trade, or their barangays are havens of illegal drug activities.