DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 22 Jan) — Regional directors of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be given copies of President Rodrigo Duterte’s watch list of persons allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade, Local Governments Secretary Ismael Sueno said.
Sueno gave the go signal for the distribution of the list to PNP regional directors during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) leaders’ meeting on Friday, a press release from Sueno’s office on Sunday said.
“The controversial list containing the names of the local government executives, officials and civilians alike, who are involved in illegal drugs will be handed over to the PNP Regional Directors who are also RPOC vice-chairpersons. This is to avoid any conflict of interest and malice as RPOC chairpersons are also local government executives,” Sueno said.
Duterte has repeatedly shown a thick sheaf of papers in his speaking engagements, explaining the list represents the illegal drugs industry in the Philippines. He said the list contains the names of some 6,000 barangay captains, policemen, mayors and governors.
Sueno said the President’s watch list can also be given local chief executives “upon request.”
He explained that the President had committed to the governors and mayors he met separately in the past two weeks, that they will be furnished their own copy “so that they may have a clear view of what possible course of action they may undertake.”
But Sueno clarified that local officials who would be requesting for a copy of the list from the PNP regional directors should only be given the names of people within their area of jurisdiction.
“If a Mayor requests for a copy of the list, he would only obtain the names of alleged illegal drug personalities within his town or city. He will not be granted full access to the names of people outside his authority to maintain the confidentiality of the list,” he said.
He said the move to give the list initially only to PNP regional directors is to ensure that if there would be any leakage, the DILG “would immediately ascertain the source.”
Sueno also clarified in the meeting that the list should only be considered as a watch list as investigations on the alleged involvement of the persons listed are ongoing amid continuing intelligence work. (MindaNews)