MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration's narco list is already 6,000 names long and more will be added in the coming months.
This was first announced by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino on Monday, December 11.
"Every month may bagong listahan kami. Nagsimula nang 3,000 ngayon 6,000 plus na (Every month we have a new list. We started with 3,000, now we have 6,000 plus already)," Aquino said at the sidelines of a press conference.
Pressed to confirm his pronouncement, he said the figures he mentioned refer to the list used by President Rodrigo Duterte himself. "6000+ na ngayon sa (names are already in the) PRRD list," he told Rappler in a text message on Tuesday, December 12.
According to Aquino, the list consists of both government officials and civilians. It is unclear whether it coincides with local government drug lists, which are often cited in police reports when drug suspects are apprehended.
The last time the public heard of the narco list was 4 months ago, when President Rodrigo Duterte announced in August that he had updated his infamous list.
He was criticized for his disclosures, as many had pointed out that the list was not properly validated. (READ: The Duterte list: Judges, mayors, police officials linked to drugs)
Revalidation board formed
To address irregularities, Aquino said on Monday that they have put together an "adjudication board" with the Philippine National Police (PNP), taking it upon themselves to try to "revalidate" its names.
"It's just a validation ng lahat ng listahan kay Presidente... So 'yung adjudication process will determine kung ikaw ba ay made-delist o hindi," he said on Monday.
(It is just a validation of all lists with the President... So the adjudication process will determine whether you will be delisted or not.)
They will proceed with the revalidation, Aquino said, by asking the PNP to check once more all the names in Duterte's present list, before sending them back up to Malacañang. He mentioned that they also want that cops state the level of involvement of each name on the list. (READ: Duterte: 'Final validation' of new drug list done)
"Kung involved ka eh gaano ka ba ka-involved? At ano ba ang involvement mo? Ikaw ba ay user, pusher, drug lord, protector gano'n (If you are involved, how involved are you?Are you a user, pusher, a drug lord, or protector?)," he said.
From there, the President will decide with his own office's intel whether persons that the PNP and the PDEA will recommend should be taken out of the list.
"The only one who could delist that is the President," Aquino said.
Aquino said they could not promise a deadline for the revalidation, as it is a "difficult task". – Rappler.com