Philippine President names drug trade-linked officials

Manila, Aug 7 (IANS) Philippines’ President Roberto Duterte on Sunday named over 150 government officials who he said were complicit in the country’s drug trade.

Among those named during a speech in the city of Davao were government officials, members of the judiciary, Congressmen and police officials, CNN Philippines reported.

The list included retired and incumbent officials.

Duterte, who assumed office in June, has been aggressively pursuing an anti-crime agenda — with a special focus on ridding the country of illegal drugs.

He said the list has been validated and vetted by the military and police task forces he set up to investigate the illegal drugs “menace”, CNN Philippines said.

All active police officers named have been suspended, but the speech did not elaborate on the allegations Duterte was making against the officials on the list.

The President insisted those accused on Sunday have access to a fair trial.

“(The accusations) might be true, it might not be true … They should have due process, presumption of innocence,” CNN Philippines quoted Duterte as saying.

The judges have to turn themselves over to the Supreme Court, the police officers to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the military personnel to the Chief of Staff, and government officials to the Interior Ministry, Efe news reported.

Over 800 alleged drug abusers and traffickers have died in the Philippines since Duterte came into power.



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