'Moneyed' Narco-Politicians Won in Recent Brgy Elections, Says Solon

Manila Bulletin, November 12, 2018 | Go to article overview

'Moneyed' Narco-Politicians Won in Recent Brgy Elections, Says Solon


By Ellson Quismorio

Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers confirmed Monday that narco-politicians at the barangay level won in the village polls earlier this year.

"Meron akong alam na nasa listahan na hindi nanalo, pero mayroon din akong alam na nasa listahan na nanalo," Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, told reporters during the weekly Ugnayan forum.

(I know someone on the list who didn't win, but I know someone listed who won.)

By "list", Barbers was referring to the list of barangay officials all over the country with alleged links to illegal drugs.

"I'm sorry but I cannot divulge to you the names. Pero mayroon talagang nanalo (But some really won)," he said. The last synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections took place last May 14, but only after a series of high-profile deferments to the democratic exercise.

The village and youth polls were originally scheduled on October 2016, or just a few months after the national elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte has twice called for the postponement of the Barangay elections on the allegation that 40 percent of villages officials in the country were involved with illegal drugs trade. There are over 42,000 barangays in the Philippines.

Barbers presumably gained access to this narco-list in his capacity as Dangerous Drugs panel chairman, which allowed him to closely work with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement authorities.

"Nung nagtanong-tanong ako, isa sa mga rason kung bakit nanalo ay dahil daw umaapaw ang kanilang resources ( When I asked around, they said one of the reason why they won was due to their overflowing resources)," the Mindanao lawmaker said. …

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