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Watchdog warns against “drug tugging” spree

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte nd PNP cbhief Ronald Dela Rosa Photo © https://kami.com.ph
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte nd PNP cbhief Ronald Dela Rosa Photo © https://kami.com.ph

MANILA–The Filipino Alliance For Transparency and Empowerment warns that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on crime could be used by “interest groups” to get back at their political foes.

The transparency watchdog says they have received reports that some members of the National Democratic Front have started to link local officials who have stopped or refused to pay revolutionary tax.

Earlier, the communist led alliance accuses a neophyte lawmaker from Samar of being involved in the illegal drugs trade. The allegation was vehemently denied.

“It’s simply a case of extortion. Other NDF members have resorted to implicating innocent officials,” according to FATE spokesperson Jo Perez.

“President Duterte’s camp should review the list it has and make sure that they have solid evidence to back their allegation. Otherwise, it could spiral out of control,” Perez says.

“The list of govt officials being linked to drug trafficking could also endanger their lives and their families,” Perez says stressing that “it’s easy to accuse but to prove it is another story.”

According to news reports Duterte is set to name local officials involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Fr. Robert Reyes. Photo © yahoo.com
Fr. Robert Reyes. Photo © yahoo.com

Meanwhile, Fr. Robert Reyes, OFM says President Duterte practically “killed” the five police generals he publicly named as protectors of drug syndicates without any formal investigation.

Last week, Duterte, without offering any evidence, names former National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Joel Pagdilao,  Supt. Bernardo Diaz of Police Regional Office 6, former Quezon City Police Office chief Edgardo Tinio, and retired police officers Deputy Director Gen. Marcelo Garbo Jr. and Chief Supt. Vicente Loot as drug syndicates protectors. Except for Garbo, all have denied the allegations.

Reyes, who is among the several well known Opinion Writers of Beyond Deadlines, expresses fears that the accused police officers would not be able to recover their honor even if they are proven to be innocent later on.

“What if some of the five are proven innocent? Will they be able to recover their lost reputation and good name? The killing and taking of lives is final and irreversible. Couldn’t we say the same about the killing of the dignity of those accused without trial and conviction?” Reyes asks.
With reports from Nelson Flores, Ll.B.
Rodolfo Andal
Aside for writing for Beyond Deadlines, Rodolfo "Rudy" Andal is also a senior reporter of Pilipino Star Ngayon covering the Malacanang beat, a prized assignment for Philippine based reporters. He started working as journalist in 1989 and is a news stringer of Associated Press and Asahi Shimbun, two of the most prestigious wire services in the world.

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