BANGUED, Abra – Twenty one former and incumbent politicians in the different parts of the province are now the subject of assessment and validation by operatives of the Cordillera office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR) for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
PDEA-CAR provincial officer Julius Paderes said that 60 percent of the 21 narco-politicians are said to be former and incumbent barangay officials while the rest are also either former and incumbent provincial and municipal officials.
Paderes made the disclosure of the validation being done by the anti-narcotics agency on the 21 politicians during the fourth quarter joint meeting of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) held at the Provincial Capital here.
“We just received the list from our regional office and we will still do the appropriate validation works to ascertain whether or not the 21 politicians are involved in illegal drugs. We have to remember that the list came from the narco-list of the President which is now the subject of validation by the concerned government agencies that is why the names of those in the list remains confidential,” Paderes stressed.
While there are local officials that were included in the President’s narco-list, Paderes declared that there are no drug lord in the region and what are existent are drug pushers and drug users who source their shabu supply from Metro Manila, including the national Bilibid Prison, Cavite, Region III, and Pangasinan among other lowland communities.
He explained shabu still remains to be the preferred drug among users regionwide while marijuana is being shipped out of the region through the regular public transport or hired private vehicles.
RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR chairman and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan reminded the PDEA-CAR to work extra hard in validating the involvement of those politicians in the narco-list of the President so that their reputation will not be compromised once their names will be released in public considering that it will the life-long image of the politicians which will be at stake apart from the burden to be carried by their families and relatives, thus, extra care should be done in the validation works.
Gov. Maria Jocelyn V. Bernos welcomed the conduct of the validation process by the PDEA-CAR to the politicians in the province that were included in the latest narco-list of the President to once and for all put an end to the issue on whether or not local politicians are involved in illegal drugs.
The governor supported the call of Mayor Domogan for the PDEA-CAR to be circumspect in handling the information that they will be able to gather during the process so as not to compromise the reputation and credibility of the politicians that will be finally included in the list of alleged narco-politicians.
According to her, there is a need to correct the list because there was a local chief executive included in the list identified as a mayor when he is no longer the mayor of his municipality, thus, the validation process is important to make the necessary updates on the President’s narco-list. By HENT