MALACAÑANG has told the 27 local government officials reportedly on the list of drug suspects to come out and clear their names.
This developed as intelligence sources confirmed that among those in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of local executives linked to the illegal drug trade are prominent politicians.
Sources however are mum if the list includes two mayors and LGUs in the metropolis and one well known female local executive as intelligence reports indicate.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said they are confident that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will take the “appropriate response” against them.
Abella added that the 27 local officials who have been linked to “drug trafficking” would be given a chance to clear their names.
The Palace official even indicated that they can go to President Duterte to face the music and answer the charges against them.
“The process has begun. In other words, they will be contacted, they will be addressed, and they should respond accordingly… we will just wait for them to respond,” Abella told Palace reporters.
He said that no ultimatum, however, was given by the President for these local executives to come forward and respond to the drug allegations
Abella however said that they should respond promptly.
“If and when the DILG will respond in kind, in other words, an appropriate response from DILG will be demanded,” Abella said when asked if sanctions will be imposed on the local executives immediately.
“It’s not trial by publicity, except that they are simply being called. Their attention is being called,” he said. “They are actually being given the chance to clear their names,” he added.
Abella declined to identity the local officials with suspected drug links. “It’s the President’s call, it’s his prerogative to name them,” he added.
The alleged involvement of local officials in the drug trade was among the topics discussed in the President’s meeting with the Cabinet in Malacañang last Monday.