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Duterte names, warns 35 ‘narco-politicos’

By ALI G. MACABALANG

After calling on three active police generals to resign for alleged involvement in narcotic rings, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte named 35 drug-tainted local executives and warned them to “confess,” according to a lawmaker.

Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said the tough-talking Duterte “named” the 35 suspects before Congressional leaders at a recent meeting in Davao City, and expressed intention to seek the resignation of such elected officials allegedly hooked on illegal drug use.

He considered Duterte’s warning as a sort of “leeway” for the 35 suspects to “confess.”

“Siguro lighter sentence dahil nag-confess ka na pero he (Duterte) is not saying clemency or pardon,” Suarez said.

Suarez declined to name the 35 local leaders mentioned by Duterte, but hinted they could be mayors or governors. The suspects’ areas of jurisdictions were also not mentioned.

During a press briefing in Iligan City in 2003, then Marine Col. Benjamin “Mohammad” Dolorfino disclosed the existence of more than 10 incumbent narco-politicians in a Mindanao province.

Dolorfino’s revelation followed tips from locals, including journalists, that some suspected narco-politicians had been engaged in doling out as much as P10,000 to P15,000 for each voter in town-level elections.

During his recent meeting with Congressional leaders, according to Rep. Suarez, Duterte also mentioned his desire to tap “the support of the Armed Forces in the cleansing method, eliminating those men in uniform who are involved in this drug issue.”

Last June 4, Duterte called on three police generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs to step down from their posts before he formally assumes office on June 30.

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