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Duterte vows due process for narco-generals

President Duterte has vowed due process for the five active and retired police generals whom he accused of coddling drug syndicates.

“I am not condemning them. They deserve an investigation,” the President said in a speech during the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fit’r 2016 in Davao City Friday.

Duterte, who has promised to rid the country of criminality and illegal drugs within six months, has tagged Director Joel D. Pagdilao, Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, and Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, and retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo and retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot of alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade. All accused have already spoken and denied any link to drug syndicates.

According to the President, he was doing his sworn duty to inform the people of what is happening in the country.

And while saying that the five generals deserve due process, Duterte said, “I cannot wait.” He explained, “My oath of office, when I say “so help me God, the Allah,” I have the sworn duty to let you know kung ano ang nangyayari sa ating bayan. . . these are the things that I have to do because I’m the President.”

Aside from the five top police officers, Duterte disclosed that some local government officials are also involved in the illicit drugs trade.

“I have the list, it includes police generals. Nandoon ‘yung mga municipal and city mayors,” he said, noting that some of the local officials in the list are from Mindanao, Maranaos in particular, as well as from the Visayas.

The President has earlier said that he won’t allow narco-politics to reign in the country. And this, a Malacañang official said, is part of the message that Duterte is trying to convey when he mentioned the involvement of some local officials in the drug trade.

“I think that’s part of the implication po ng message ng president . . . Ina-avoid niya that the Philippines falls into narco-politics,” said presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella over government-run Radyo ng Bayan.

He added that “apparently, there were some mayors who have already acted independently of their parties and did not ask for funds (during the elections) because apparently they have their own sources of funds and most probably, it would be coming from that (illegal drugs).” (ELENA L. ABEN)