DILG 11: Narco politicians are not guilty unless proven beyond reasonable doubt

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 March) – Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) 11 director Alex Roldan said alleged narco politicians in the government’s watch list are presumed “not guilty unless proven beyond reasonable doubt.”

But Roldan told reporters Friday that he prefers to have President Rodrigo R. Duterte or Interior Secretary Eduardo Año release the alleged narco list, raising concerns that he might be misconstrued as supporting the opponents of the candidates in the narco list since it is election season.

“Have mercy on us because we are the ones on the ground,” he said.

Roldan feared that releasing the alleged “narco list” through the regional offices of the DILG will endanger the lives of the local executives.

He did not confirm if there were politicians in the region in that list.

“In drugs, ‘violence begets violence’ and we do not want that to happen. It is good for them in the higher office because they can do it more easily,” Roldan said, adding that the higher office must release it if they have sufficient evidence.

He said he does not have the so-called narco list of the government.

“If I would be given with a list, I do not want to look at it… We are not in the right position to say that they are involved because the intelligence reports are not with us,” he said.

Roldan said they could not verify the alleged involvement of the personalities in the narco list in illegal drugs.

DILG 11 assistant regional director Abdullah Matalam said of the 82 politicians in the list, 62 are running in the May elections.

“The question arises if the release will be against the Constitution, of the Bill of Rights. Why? Because the person is still presumed innocent until proven guilty, so many objected to it. But what the Secretary is saying, if the President will oblige him to do something to release it, so the Secretary will abide to do that,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)