Catarman, Samar―Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday the Hugpong ng Pagbabago party, which has endorsed 13 senatorial candidates in the coming midterm elections, will not reject the candidacy of the narco politicians.
Interviewed at the sidelines of the HNP campaign caravan in the province, Duterte told reporters they will not avoid the candidates whose names appeared in the narco list released by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Meanwhile, Puerto Princesa City Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III on Monday welcomed the release of a narco list tagging 46 politicians allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
He thanked the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Interior department for his non-inclusion in the latest narco list
even if he was tagged in the 2018 list.
“The Lord is so good. He knows I have never been involved in the illegal drug trade,” Marcaida told reporters.
“I love and care for my family and my constituents here at Puerto Princesa. I would never want to give them the embarrassment.”
The narco list has the names of politicians,
including those running in the coming elections, who have been tagged in the illicit drug trade, but Duterte said nobody among those being supported by the HNP regional political party appeared in the list.
Duterte said she did not opt to get a copy of the narco list because she believed that voting was a personal decision of a voter based on the assessment of a candidate.
The HNP campaign manager also said the choice of a candidate was based on the perception of a voter, so that was a “personal act” and “over and beyond what is required by law.”
“Let us leave the decision to a voter. We are not avoiding the candidates on the narco list. We leave everything to the voters to decide.”
Duterte had earlier engaged Vice President Leni Robredo in a “word war” over the issue of honesty as a qualification for those seeking public office.
READ: Inday Sara hits out at Leni over 'honesty'
While Robredo maintained that it should be made a basis in the choice of a candidate to vote, Duterte said Robredo should abandon her dream of the presidency because her assumption of office was marred by cheating.
Duterte said the HNP-backed senatorial candidates whom she talked to had no reservations about her stance in dealing with politicians in the narco list.
Meanwhile, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino senatorial candidate and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to release the names of politicians allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
During his campaign sortie in Bacolod, Enrile told reporters that politicians should not worry about the list and allow the law to take its course.
“If you have not done anything wrong, let the process of the law go through,” Enrile said.
After all, the pronouncement of the President is not a conviction. It is simply a duty on his part, in my view, to inform the public that these people are suspects, and they are running for high public offices.” With Rio N. Araja
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