The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s office in Davao region said it has 13 village officials in its watch list of persons involved in illegal drugs.
PDEA 11 (Davao) Director Antonio Rivera disclosed this during the press briefing of the Armed Forces of the Philippines – Philippine National Police Press Corps, held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Friday.
Although he is not sure if the 13 officials are seeking re-election this May, Rivera said most of them are village councilmen. One of the barangay captains is in Davao City.
Another one earlier surrendered to authorities but he was put back in the list following information that he went back to illegal drug activities.
Rivera said PDEA will check if these officials have filed their Certificate of Candidacy with the Commission on Elections.
Asked if the list would be revealed, Rivera said he will wait for a directive from PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino.
On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo R. Duterte had ordered PDEA to release the names of the village officials in the narco list.
The order was reportedly made three weeks before the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
According to Aquino, the narco list includes 89 barangay chairmen and 122 barangay kagawads.
He disclosed that the list originally contained 216 names but five barangay captains were taken off the list as they will be subjected to further validation.
Rivera told reporters that PDEA-11’s list has been validated and bears a summary of information about the person.
Aside from the village officials, there are other high-value targets, including government workers, he said.
On Thursday, a revenue collection officer of Padada municipality, Davao del Sur was arrested in a joint buy-bust operation conducted by PDEA-Davao del Sur, the Regional Intelligence Unit and the police.
Callao was arrested after selling to a PDEA agent one sachet of suspected shabu for P1,000.
(Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)