MAKING public the “narco-list” in the possession of President Rodrigo Duterte was ill-advised and unnecessarily endangered not only the lives of the people listed but also those of the intelligence operatives who worked on the list, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Wednesday.
“The President or any official making a classified document public is ill-advised and will not serve the purpose for which it was prepared,” Lacson said this in response to Duterte’s apology to Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr. and two other local government officials.
Duterte made the apology during an inspection of the alleged shabu laboratory in Arayat, Pampanga when he admitted that Espino, provincial board member Raul Sison, and former Pangasinan provincial administrator Rafael Baraan may not really be involved in the illegal drug trade.
Lacson said that an intelligence report must be treated as “confidential,” even as a “secret” or “top secret” document, depending on its security classification.
“A narco-list, just like an order of battle, is a product of an intelligence workshop and is disseminated only to personnel with the corresponding security clearance,” he added.
The senator said that making it public would not only warn those in the list and jeopardize any ongoing intelligence operations but would also unnecessarily shame them or put their lives at risk.
He further said that it would also be unfair to those who may not be correctly tagged as committing the wrongdoings as described in the intelligence document.
Moreover, he said that the former credibility of that list and all other narco-lists involving other sectors for that matter have now become “doubtful.”
During his visit to Arayat, Duterte said he will provide P25 million to P50 million to the provincial government of Pampanga to transform the recently discovered shabu laboratory into a reformatory center.
According to the President, the property where the laboratory was built will be confiscated, and its owner—whom he identified as a certain Sanlee Chua—can never get it back.
“He can never get it back. I can assure you,” the President said during a press conference which came after an inspection of the facility with provincial officials led by Gov. Lilia Pineda.
The center, President said, will accommodate the first batch of drug addicts who want to be reformed.
There will be separate quarters for men and women, he added.
The Chief Executive said that according to experts from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the facility can produce 100-200 kilos of shabu per cycle. The machines, he added, can go up to two cycles per day.
The President said the facility—which was reportedly built during the elections—was eventually abandoned by the operators after he won the polls and the crackdown against illegal drugs started nationwide.
He also mentioned that the structure may very well be connected to the National Bilibid Prison network of syndicates involved in illegal drugs.
Pineda, who accompanied President Duterte during the inspection, profusely apologized to the President that such a structure was built in the town under her watch.
But President Duterte said just like him when he was mayor of Davao, Pineda could not possibly watch over every square inch of the province—especially that the laboratory was built in a far-flung area.
The Chief Executive even mentioned that the piggery in the area masked the smell which emanates when shabu is being produced.
The President and Gov. Pineda were accompanied by Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda, Arayat Mayor Emmanuel Alejandrino and other officials during the inspection.