CAGAYAN DE ORO CTY (MindaNews/09 August) — Families of dead persons whose names found their way into the rogues list of President Rodrigo Duterte should produce death certificates to clear the names of their relatives, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Monday.
Andanar cited the case of Judge Roberto Navidad of Regional Trial Court 32 in Calbayog City, Samar who was named by Duterte last Sunday but already died eight years ago.
Navidad was killed by assailants inside his car in Calbayog City on Jan. 15, 2008. Police have yet to arrest suspects eight years later.
“His family has yet to produce a death certificate to clear his name. His name is still stuck on the list,” Andanar told reporters here.
Navidad is not the only dead person whose name appeared in the list of politicians, judges and policemen tagged by President Duterte to be either drug lords or their protectors.
The nephew of the late former mayor Benahar Tulawie of Talipao town in Sulu wrote a letter yesterday informing Duterte that his uncle died at St. Lukes Medical Center on April 14, 2014.
Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie, chair of Bawgbug Advocates for Peace and Human Rights said their family went to the Philippine National Police Sulu office to present the death certificate issued by Taguig City and other documents to clear the name of their uncle who was accused as a drug lord.
Aside from Tulawie, the PNP Region 10 headquarters said a policeman tagged by the President as one of the “narco cops” died three years ago.
PNP Region 10 spokesperson Superintendent Surki Serenas said Senior Police Officer 3 Emilio Luzaria was killed in July 2013 by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency after he was arrested and brought to Cagayan de Oro.
Andanar said the list given to President Duterte was “carefully vetted” by PDEA and the PNP.
“It is very hard for anyone to get into the list but once your name is there, it is also very hard to get out,” he said
The official said the PNP and PDEA have different methods of processing information and each of them are supposed to be thorough and “carefully vetted.”
He said the burden of proof lies on the accused and their families to clear their names.
“The government says they have proof against them. They have to present evidence that would clear them. That is due process,” he said.
Duterte’s list has triggered a backlash in social networks with some netizens pointing out that some of the reported mayors in Mindanao were not even elected officials or no longer held office.
Netizen Dennis Baguio said David Navarro was wrongly named by Duterte as mayor of Pagadian City. He said Navarro is the town mayor of Clarin, Misamis Occidental.
Of the seven policemen tagged in the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon, Serenas said only two– Superintendent Ricardo Gando and Senior Police Officer 4 Rodrigo Ramos—are still on active duty with the Bukidnon PNP office.
Serenas said they have already reported to their units to clear their names.
He said another former policeman, SPO1 Reynaldo dela Victoria, was arrested by PDEA agents in September 2014 and is presently detained at the Lumbia City Jail here. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)