27 poll winners on Duterte narco-list

Oscar D. Albayalde

TWENTY-SEVEN politicians included in President Duterte’s narco-list won  seats in the May 13 local elections, the highest of them a governor, Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said yesterday.

However, the victory of the 27 who all denied having links with illegal drugs doesn’t mean that police will already stop investigating them. “The investigation is continuing and once we have sufficient evidence and witnesses against them, we will not hesitate to file criminal and administrative charges against them,” the PNP chief told newsmen at Camp Crame.

According to Gen. Albayalde, 37 politicians included in the President’s narco-list actually ran for different local positions on Monday last week but only 27 of them emerged victorious. One of them is a governor while the others are mayors from Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions.

One of the winners is Lucena City Mayor Roderick ‘Dondon’ Alcala of PDP-Laban who defeated his closes rival, UNA’s Mon Talaga by nearly 52,000 votes.

Leyte (3rd District) Representative Vicente ‘Ching’ Veloso was also reelected along with Zambales (1sst District) Rep. Jeff Khonghun; Mayor David Navarro of Clarin, Misamis Occidental; Mayor Ferdinand Aguinaldo of Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; Mayor Erlon Agustin of Camiling, Tarlac; Mayor Cipriano Violago Jr. of San Rafael, Bulacan; Mayor Caesar Perez of Los Banos, Laguna; and Mayor Dennis Hernandez of Rodriguez, Rizal.

Gordon seeks probe

Senator Richard Gordon yesterday called for an investigation in the Senate to find out how these candidates won amid reports of flagrant and scandalous vote-buying in the provinces and municipalities they ran.

Gordon said an extensive investigation should be conducted by different agencies such as the Commission on Elections, the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the National Bureau of Investigations and the Philippine National Police.

“A lot of vote-buying occurred and there are affidavits to show that. Where there are massive vote-buying, cash was used. And because so many thousands of pesos were distributed, AMLC should look into that. The BIR should look into their capability, the Comelec should investigate, and the police should also investigate,” he said.

Specifically, he said the AMLC should determine if there were large-scale withdrawals from banks and who withdrew money on those days, so that charges could be filed.

The senator pointed out that the narco-politicians also fielded other family members to various positions, to have the influence to ensure their protection from harassment. They also forged alliances with local candidates who were also just as desperate to win to protect their graft and corrupt practices.

With Marlon Purificacion