Police chief: 27 ‘narco-politicians’ won polls

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde announced on Monday, May 20, that 27 politicians on President Rodrigo Duterte’s “narco-list” won in the recent 2019 midterm elections. 

“Out of 47 na nasa narcolist: 37 ang tumakbo, 27 and nanalo (Out of the 47 individuals in the narcolist: 37 ran for a position, 27 won a seat),” the police chief said as reported by The Manila Times.

“We are in close coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), especially in gathering evidence against narco politicians,” Albayalde added as reported by The Philippine Star.

However, the data gathered by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group displayed a slightly different outcome. The media network reported that there were 46 local officials named on the list — with 36 who ran for various local positions, 26 of whom won.

The research group indicated that the winners in the narco list include 18 mayors, three vice mayors, two congressmen, one vice governor, one provincial board member, and one councilor. Albayalde claimed that some were from Central Luzon and the Southern Tagalog.

The network identified the political alliances of the said officials namely PDP-LABAN (6), National People’s Coalition (6), Nacionalista Party (6), National Unity Party (2), LAKAS (2), Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (1) while the rest ran as independent.

Despite the victory of the said candidates in the recently concluded local elections, the police chief remained adamant on filing “administrative and criminal” cases against should there be ample proof of their involvement in the illegal drug trade.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said that the election results reflected the lack of voter maturity in far-flung areas.

“Voters in far-flung areas are not mature yet. It is now my job to ensure that these government officials will do their jobs in accordance with the mandate of the Local Government Code,” the Interior Secretary said.

Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon said that the “massive, flagrant and scandalous vote buying in areas” where the alleged narco politicians won must be further investigated by the officials responsible for matters regarding elections.

“While vote buying may have become commonplace to some people, the inordinate, flagrant and scandalous vote buying in areas where the narco politicians won must be investigated,” Gordon said in a statement.

Among those government agencies were Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the PNP. 

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