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Lacson urges review of narco lists, including ‘drug matrix’

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 310

SAYING that a “narco list” is like an order of battle (OB) against criminals, Sen. Panfilo Lacson has urged concerned agencies to review any supposed list that identifies some people linked to drug trafficking.

He made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino, board member Raul Sison and former provincial administrator Raffy Baraan for including them in a supposed “drug matrix” implicating Sen. Leila de Lima in the alleged drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
Duterte had admitted that he failed to verify the supposed drug matrix that linked them to the alleged drug trade activities at the NBP with the alleged “blessing” of De Lima.
“An immediate review of all the narco lists is in order. As I said, the President or any official making a classified document public is ill-advised and will not serve the purpose for which it was prepared,” said Lacson.
Meanwhile, De Lima said that the President’s apology “is a clear admission that there is really nothing in that ridicilous drug matrix that links me to the illegal drug trade.”
“It is tragic that the highest official of the land has not only been fed lies and wrong information but also has listened to rumors and intrigues. The alleged drug matrix, as I pointed out before, is nothing but trash and therefore, should not be given any grain of credibility,” she said.
“What does that tell us about barangay captains’ lists of drug pushers and addicts who are subjected to tokhang and vigilante assassinations based on said lists, if intelligence provided the President himself is prone to mistakes?” she asked.
De Lima added:”This is the problem with EJKs (extrajudicial killings) and the death penalty. No amount of apologies from the President will bring back the dead to life. He is not Jesus Christ who can bring back Lazarus to life, contrary to the belief of his fanatic supporters.”
She said that the drug matrix also casts serious doubts on the people behind the so-called intelligence information.
Lacson said that an intelligence report must be treated as “confidential,” even as a “secret” or “top secret” document, depending on its security classification.
“A narco list, just like an Order of Battle, is a product of an intelligence workshop and is disseminated only to personnel with the corresponding security clearance,” he said.
“Hence, making it public would not only warn those in the list -- thus jeopardizing any ongoing intelligence operations -- but also unnecessarily shame them or put their lives at risk,” he said.
Lacson said:”Having said that, it may also be unfair to those who may not be correctly tagged as committing the wrongdoings as described in the intelligence document.”
“It goes without saying that the credibility of that list and all other narco lists involving other sectors for that matter have now become doubtful,” he said.