President Rodrigo Duterte has turned over his list of government officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) even as he admitted that drug lords may succeed in their plan to assassinate him.
Speaking before military troops at Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela, Duterte said there’s a chance that he may not finish his term because the people on the drug list may have him killed.
“I do not know if I will survive the six years or not. Given the numbers, I can’t kill them all. They can perhaps kill me,” the President said as he showed the folder containing the list.
“Ibigay ko ito sa Armed Forces. Ito ang problema natin (I will give this to the Ar,ed Forces. This is our problem). I’m just saying that the ultimate warriors of the Constitution, to protect the people, is the Armed Forces of the Philippines. So bahala na kayo (Now it is up to you),” he added.
The urged the military “not to allow the country to disintegrate.”
“I will protect you,” he assured the troopers, adding that he will take responsibility for his orders.
“I will not allow one policeman or one military to go to jail for doing his duty. In my six-year term, you should have no fear. Whatever you do under my orders, that’s my [responsibility],” he said.
The President has yet to reveal the names of 1,000 public officials who he said are involved in the illegal drugs trade. He hinted that the list includes governors, congressmen, assemblymen, mayors, barangay captains and policemen.
In his speech, Duterte named anew retired general and now Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot as one of those linked to the drug trade.
The President said Loot’s name was also mentioned in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions.
“What does that mean? It means to say that wherever he was assigned, he was into drugs. That is what it means,” he said.
The President said Mayor Reynaldo Flores of Naguilian, La Union was included in the third and final drug list. Flores was also in the second drug list that Duterte released in August.
Duterte said Flores is a “high value target” and that his involvement in illegal drugs had been validated.
He also mentioned Ronnie Sultan, barangay captain of Lumatil, Maasim, in Sarangani.
The President confirmed that suspected drug lord Melvin Odicta and his wife Miriam, who were gunned down in August, were in the drug list.
“You see, they’re here – the Odictas. But the Odictas were salvaged,” Duterte said.
On the other hand, Duterte said the Alcalas of Quezon province, who were earlier tagged in the illegal drug trade, have been removed in the final drug list.
“The Alcalas, who were here [in the narcotics list], had been erased,” the President said.
Last month,, Cerilo “Athel” Alcala, the brother of former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Quezon Representative Vicente Alcala, surrendered to the police with his son Sajid to clear their names after being tagged as Quezon’s top drug lords.
On September 11, Cerilo’s wife Maria Fe and daughter Toni Ann were arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted in Leveriza Subdivision in Tayabas, Quezon.