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President set to release final list of ‘narco’ officials

President Duterte said yesterday that he will turn over to the Armed Forces of the Philippines a final list of validated drug personalities, which he earlier said contains the names of some 1,000 government officials and policemen.

Duterte reminded the military of their duty to “protect the people.”

“I’m just saying that the ultimate warriors sa Constitution to protect the people is the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.

“I do not know if I will survive the six years or not. But if I do not survive…whatever the cause maybe…ang hingiin ko lang sa inyo, lahat kayo, pati mga generals, see to it that this country will not take a spin,” the Chief Executive told troops of the Army 5th Infantry Division during his visit to Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela.

Duterte appealed to the troops as he noted that the drug problem has already affected the entire country.

During his speech, the Commander-in-Chief showed the soldiers a folder with a list of government officials believed involved in the illicit trade. The list had been validated, according to the President.

Duterte even read a few names particularly that of a mayor from the north, a police general, and a local official from Mindanao.

“Mayor Reynaldo Flores, HVT, high-value target, Naguilian, La Union. La Union. Validated. Tapos dito sa isang page, mayor, assemblyman, mayor, vice mayor. Dito sa iba naman, puro barangay captain… Boni Sultan, Lumati, Maasin, municipal councilor,” he said.

Also mentioned was retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot, who is now mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu.

“Kagaya si Loot. Region I, nandiyan ‘yang pangalan niya. Gen. Loot. Region II, nandoon ‘yung pangalan niya. Region III, nandoon ‘yung pangalan niya. Region IV, nandoon,” said Duterte.

“What does that mean? It means to say that wherever he was assigned, he was into drugs. That is what it means,” he continued.

Loot was one of the five retired and active police generals named by Duterte as alleged coddlers of drug syndicates.

The President then said he would give the list to the military. “Ibigay ko ito sa Armed Forces, sa commanding general. Ito ’yung problema,” the President said, further stating that: “Inyo ‘yan eh…Inyong trabaho iyan, baka nakalimutan ninyo.”

“Trabaho lang kayo. Just do what is the mandate of the Constitution at ako na ang bahala dito sa inyo. I will protect you. I will not allow one policeman or one military to go to jail for doing his duty,” he said as he vowed to assume full responsibility for his order. (Elena L. Aben)