• Palace to release list of ‘clean’ officials

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    After naming and shaming dozens of government officials allegedly involved in illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte will start praising “clean” officials, Malacañang said Wednesday.

    The Palace said it will release a list of local officials whose reputations are “untainted.”

    Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the government also has to acknowledge the executives of local government units who have remained on the right track.

    “In a few days, we will release a list of reputable LGU officials. It is also proper to celebrate the untainted reputation of LGU executives when it comes to illegal drugs,” Andanar said in a statement.

    He said the idea to draw a list of respectable officials was raised during his meeting with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

    “There are more clean governors and mayors than LGU executives who are suspected to be in the illegal drugs business,” he added.

    In a separate statement, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno said his department already has the names of reputable public officials.

    He said there were no “specific criteria” in choosing the names of local executives.

    “But just like what we did with the second list of drug protectors, we are checking the names of the ‘untainted’ LGU officials to be included on the list,” Sueno said.

    “Of course, we also include the awardees but we need to check first their track records,” he added.

    Meanwhile, Andanar defended Duterte’s name-and-shame campaign against “narco-politicans,” saying that the President’s primary concern is “to deliver effective action to the people.”

    “By calling out the names of the judges on the list, he is giving them every chance and opportunity to be prepared to defend themselves, clear their names if they are innocent, and alert the community of their involvement in drugs if they are guilty,” he said.

    “Not everybody will applaud him for his audacity, but the President is putting his life, his honor, and the presidency at stake. His love for the people is greater than his fear for his own life, or the fear of embarrassment, failure, or mistake,” Andanar added.

    Duterte last Sunday named over 150 people, composed of judges, former and incumbent local executives, and law enforcers supposedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

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