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Duterte offers to resign if people in new narco list aren’t neutralized



President Duterte has offered to resign if he could not “dispose of” or “neutralize” the people behind the illegal drugs trade in the country.

After identifying 46 politicians with suspected involvement in illegal drugs Thursday, the President admitted that he would feel useless if the drug problem remained unresolved.

“May mga ano kasi, may mga tao sa mundo na – hindi mo pwedeng lokohin.‘Yung ginagawa mo kaming kengkoy dito sa gobyerno, parang wala na kami,” Duterte said during the national peace and order council meeting in Davao City Thursday. “If I cannot dispose of you, neutralize you, I will resign as President. Inutil ako,” he said.

He said the government has filed charges against these drug-linked politicians, who were mostly running in the upcoming elections, before the Ombudsman. The release of the latest narco list was made ahead of the May elections.

Duterte slammed drug offenders, especially those who killed policemen, saying they deserved to die. “There’s something wrong with you. Talagang g*** ka at dapat ka talagang mamatay p***** i** mo. Why do you do that to your country? And who would ever enjoy a country that is a failed state or in a disarray?” he said.

He also hit back at suspected big-time drug traffickers in the provinces for their lavish lifestyles.

Duterte said some buy fancy sports cars, send their children to schools abroad, and take extravagant travels abroad. “They flaunt their joys and their happiness at the expense of the Filipino blood,” he said.

Despite facing criticisms from human rights groups, Duterte affirmed his resolve to pursue the anti-drugs crackdown, saying he would not allow the country to become a failed State. “I will just be clear that the last remaining years ko will be the most dangerous years for a person into trafficking sa drugs,” he said.

Politicians named in the narco list denied their involvement in illegal drugs and maintained that their inclusion was politically motivated.

Reelectionist San Rafael, Bulacan Mayor Cipriano Violago Jr. said his inclusion is politically motivated since he has been cooperative in all forms of investigation conducted on him since 2016.

Violago said he was cleared on the municipal, provincial, and regional levels and even by the police in Camp Crame, Quezon City. He said he is ready to face any form of reinvestigation to clear his name which, he said, has been severely tarnished, adding, “they can never put a good man down.”

Subic, Zambales Mayor Jefferson “Jay’’ Khonghun, who is running for Zambales vice governor, said his political rival was responsible for his inclusion in the list. Khonghun claimed that his family was never involved in illegal drugs in any form as his family has never been impoverished.

House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso said he will file criminal charges against those who included him in the narco list and will ask Duterte to fire them if they cannot substantiate their accusations against him.

Pangasinan Rep. Jesus “Boying” Celeste said yesterday that he was surprised that he was included in the narco list, saying this has been used against him in the past elections. “Tuwing eleksiyon ito na lang palagi ang ginagamit nilang paninira since 2000, pero ang mga tao ay patuloy na nagpapanalo sa amin,” he said.

Lucena City Mayor Roderick Alcala tagged House Minority Floor Leader Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez for his inclusion in the narco list. Suarez has denied Alcala’s allegation and advised him to prepare for the cases against him in connection with the narco list to clear his name.

Reelectionist Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte Mayor Ferdinand D. Aguinaldo yesterday appealed to concerned authorities to immediately conduct clear validation to further clear his name from the narco list.

Aguinaldo claimed that 90 percent of his constituents know that he is not involved in any illegal activity. “Pasuquin residents know that this issue is a mere allegation and false,” said Aguinaldo.

The Department of Interior and Local Government yesterday stressed that it is within the right of politicians to file charges against the agencies that validated and included them in the narco list.

DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said they are free to rebut the allegations at the Office of the Ombudsman. “That is now the proper venue,’’ Malaya said. (With reports from Chito Chavez, Liezle Inigo, Danny Estacio, and Freddie Lazaro)