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Año: Narco-pol winners not off the hook yet, won’t drop cases

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday vowed to pursue the administrative cases filed against the politicians named in the narco list but who won in the May 13 elections.

“Kahit na pinalad silang manalo, tuloy pa rin ang administrative cases laban sa kanila,” Año told reporters.  

“Hindi pa rin sila makakalusot kung sila ay mapapatunayang sangkot talaga sa iligal na droga.” 

Año said they considered as a victory the defeat of some of the narco politicians who ran but lost.

“The purpose of President [Rodrigo] Duterte in releasing the names was to inform the public of the local officials who are linked to the drug trade,” Año said. 

“The fact that some of them lost is already a substantial victory for us because if we didn’t release the names more, if not all, could have won the election.”

Of the 46 suspected narco politicians charged by the DILG, 37 ran for public office during the last election and 26 won.

READ: Duterte lists 50 more narco-pols

Among them were two congressmen, one vice governor, 18 mayors, three vice mayors, one councilor and one board member. 

The suspected narco politicians are from CALABARZON, BARMM, Eastern Visayas, the Ilocos, Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas, Central Luzon, the Zamboanga Peninsula, SOCCKSARGEN and CARAGA.  

In March, the DILG filed charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and gross neglect of duty before the Office of the Ombudsman against the 46.

Año said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will pursue the criminal cases against the suspected narco politicians.

He said the DILG was in close coordination with the Philippine National Police, PDEA and other national government agencies tasked to fight the war on illegal drugs.

He said there was a possibility that drug money was used during the election campaign amid the rampant vote-buying incidents.

“It’s not impossible that drug money was used in the campaign, and that could have been a factor in their victory considering the prevalence of vote- buying in the last election,” Año said. 

READ: ‘Duterte has power over narco-list’

Topics: Eduardo Año , narco list , Rodrigo Duterte , Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
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