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Celebrities next in Duterte list

Celebrities involved in illegal drugs could be next on the “name-and-shame” list of President Duterte.

The government would not hesitate to name the names of high-profile personalities, including celebrities, if investigation shows their drug links, a Palace official said yesterday.

“I’m sure there will be announcements made if there are validated intelligence reports,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a Palace press briefing.

Abella was responding to queries if there would be celebrities, businessmen, and other high-profile persons who would also be publicly identify by the President.

Early in the day, the President said he would soon announce the next batch of government officials, including prosecutors and barangay officials, with alleged drug connections.

Duterte, speaking to reporters in Davao City, said the list, which includes “many” officials, is still being revalidated by concerned authorities.

He said he plans to “purge” the government of erring officials especially those involved in illegal drugs. “There will be a purging, actually. Without declaring a martial law, I will cleanse this government,” Duterte said.

The President earlier bared the names of more than 150 judges, local executives and policemen allegedly involved in drug operations. Duterte said he may be wrong about the list but asked the persons concerned to report to their superiors to clear their names.