(Eagle News) – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has already filed complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman against the 46 incumbent government officials tagged as “narco-politicians” who had been earlier named by President Rodrigo Duterte.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said his department filed the charges against these narco-politicians last Thursday, March 14 acting upon the orders of the President. It was only after the filing of cases that President Duterte bared the names of the 46 narco-politicians that evening.
The DILG chief said that the charges were filed in connection with the government officials alleged involvement in illegal drug trade and activities.
The 46 “narco pols” are facing administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public officer, and gross neglect of duty.
He said the initial list of “narco pols” facing charges before the Ombudsman were provided by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The initial list released to the public by the President includes 35 mayors, seven (7) vice-mayors, one (1) provincial board member, and three (3) members of the House of Representatives.
Año said the involvement of the respondents in illegal drugs was evaluated and judiciously validated by the Interagency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) chaired by PDEA in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), among others.
ICAD, which was created under Executive Order No. 15, consists of several government agencies tasked to oversee and synchronize government efforts to combat the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. DILG is one of the member-agencies of ICAD.
“The DILG’s involvement in the ICAD is impelled by its statutory role as general supervisor of local government units (LGUs) and their officials to ensure that they are performing their duties and functions under the law,”said Año.
– Process of vetting and validation –
As early as August 2016, President Duterte has already announced a long list of names of personalities who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade which includes magistrates, local executives, and retired and active police officers.
After this, the DILG said that the ICAD, in coordination with PDEA, PNP, AFP, NICA and other agencies, conducted and performed further validation on the personalities included in the list and those who, while initially excluded, were found to be potential violators, coddlers, and active participants and stakeholders in the illegal drug trade.
“While the vetting and validations were separately done by the agencies, the process was coordinated and synchronized under the leadership of PDEA to ensure that all bases are covered and that no lapses will be made in the process,” added DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.
Malaya said that the filing of charges shows that the ICAD chaired by PDEA is confident with the list.
“With the filing of cases with the Ombudsman, those in the initial narco-list that was released by the President will now have an opportunity to refute or rebut the allegations against them,” he said.
Based on regional location, there is one each in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, MIMAROPA, and CARAGA Region; two each from Central Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula; three each from Central Luzon and SOCCSKSARGEN; four in Northern Mindanao; and five in Western Visayas.
Meanwhile, Calabarzon and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) each have 10 local officials in the narco list.