Local officials on drug list snub DILG probe

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The Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Task Force (TF) Agila disclosed Friday that only 28 of 52 local officials included in the list of drug personalities President Duterte has released are cooperating in their investigations.

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DILG TF Agila chairperson, DILG Undersecretary John R. Castriciones, said the remaining 24 local officials who were tagged as “persons of interest” (POIs) have not shown any cooperation with the probe led by the task force.

“We cannot force them. Our procedures are voluntary in nature. We have to ask them to execute a deed of waiver to signify their willingness to open themselves to our scrutiny and investigation,” Castriciones explained during a briefing to update the public on the progress of their investigation.

He said the waiver will authorize the taskforce “to look into all their transactions and to dig into some documents, papers and activities they have engaged in.”

Castriciones said one of the immediate actions of the Task Force undertaken through the National Police Commission (Napolcom), was to impose sanctions on the suspected local chief executives.

Among such sanctions are: the revocation of their deputation powers, including their authority to choose their local chief of police, together with the withdrawal of the PNP personnel assigned as their security personnel, as well as the cancellation of the firearms licenses, if applicable.

The investigation of the 52 POIs identified in the list is being handled by four teams, each headed by a DILG undersecretary. The teams are organized by island cluster, one each for Luzon and Visayas, and two for Mindanao.

On the other hand, Task Force Vice Chairman and DILG Undersecretary Jesus Hinlo Jr. said that if the POIs mentioned will fully cooperate with the government, “the government will listen to them to the extent of letting them avail of the Witness Protection Program if all the requisites under the law are fully satisfied.”

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