Congressman calls on PDEA: Public reveal of list of barangay execs tagged in illegal drugs be done now

Image by Frederick Siao's Facebook cover photo
  • A congressman called on PDEA to fulfill its promise of publicly disclosing the list of barangay officials tagged in illegal drug trade; as in, now
  • The PDEA Chief, last April 18,  vowed to publicize the names of the village narco-politicians in a press conference 
  • However, CHR warned PDEA against its plan, suggesting that instead, let due process take its course

A congressman called on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday to realize its promise of publicly disclosing the list of barangay officials tagged in the illegal drug trade —  now.

The congressman urging the PDEA is Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao, a member of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms.
Believing it will be timely for the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on May 14, he sought the release of the 289 names of barangay officials submitted to the PDEA.

“Nasaan na ang listahan ng mga umano’y [where’s the list of the] 289 na barangay officials na sangkot [involved] sa illegal drugs? Was that just a ploy, a slip of the tongue, a misquote, or a PR stunt? If the PDEA does have such a list, then now is the time to fully disclose that list,” Cong. Siao said.

“Now is not the time for PDEA to lose credibility over this matter. What is PDEA waiting for? Reveal the list as it is now and the reasons those barangay officials are on that list… Inform the public and give the officials allegedly involved the fair chance to respond to the allegations,” he added.

PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino, on April 18, vowed to publicize the names of the village officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade in a press conference in Tacloban City.

“We have to publish their names so that if they are candidates now for the upcoming SK and barangay elections, hindi sila iboto (they should not be elected), because actually they are there to help the government campaign in the anti-illegal drugs pero wala eh, they are into illegal drugs by way of trading, using and protectors, so what shall we do – the people and the constituents should know they are not worthy to be voted anymore,” Aquino said.

However, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) warned PDEA against its plan to publicly name the barangay officials; to instead let due process take its course.

“The Commission agrees that there is a need to cleanse the local government from those who exacerbate the drug problem. We, however, urge the PDEA to be more discerning in releasing any information pertaining to the drug list,” CHR said.