The Palace said Monday it will release a list of politicians suspected of being involved in illegal drugs ahead of the May elections
, over the objections of lawmakers who said this would deprive those on the list the presumption of innocence
READ: ‘Narco-list was based on wiretaps’
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año would make the announcement this week without giving a definite day.
Panelo again defended the decision to make the list public.
“The individual right cannot prevail over national security and interest, we have already said that,” he said. “It will not be stopped. He [the President] already gave an instruction to release it.”
READ: ‘Duterte has power over narco-list’
Last week, Panelo said the Constitution gives the people the right to know matters of public concern, especially those that concern their lives and welfare.
He said it is the right of the public to know the politicians allegedly involved in the trade of illegal drugs, and painted illegal narcotics as an issue of national security.
“We are on the precipice of destruction if we cannot stop this drug industry. We cannot allow the local governments and the barangays to be run by the destroyers of society. The people have the right to know,” he said.
“We’ll release it for the people and the voters to know who… are destroying our country. It’s their right to know, and it is the duty of the state to preserve itself,” Panelo added.
The Commission on Elections, on the other hand, has already stated that no candidates can be disqualified
simply because his or her name is on the list.
READ: Senators, Comelec: Release of narco list premature, unfair
READ: ‘Pros outweigh cons on narcos’
READ: Palace: No narco bets wiretapped