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Palace won’t release evidence

Malacañang yesterday refused to release President Duterte’s basis in naming five top police officials allegedly involved in the illicit drug trade to prevent the investigation against those involved from being jeopardized.

“The evidence – documentary or testimonial –BN against the named generals should not be released yet as it may prejudice the administrative and criminal investigations and cases against them,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a text message to reporters.

He added that “a premature release (of the evidence) through the media may also violate the constitutional right to due process of those involved.”

The President, in his remarks during the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Clark Air Base, Pampanga, named five top police officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

“I’d like to name publicly Gen. Marcelo Garbo. He was a protector of drug syndicates in this country. Gen Vicente Loot who is now mayor in one of the municipalities of Cebu,” said Duterte.

Garbo and Loot are now retired from the service, with the latter being the newly elected mayor of Daangbantayan, Cebu.

He went on to name the three other police officials still in active service as “Gen. Diaz, former regional director of Region 11; Gen. Pagdilao, former director of NCRPO; and Gen. Tinio, former QCPD director.”

In his speech, the Chief Executive did not mention the full names of three of the five generals, but Malacañang later released a statement identifying them as “Police Director Bernardo Diaz; former National Capital Region Police Office Chief Joel Pagdilao, and Quezon City Police Director Edgardo Tinio.”

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