Narco-politicians can't be disqualified from running: Palace

By Azer Parrocha

October 4, 2018, 7:07 pm

MANILA -- Malacañang on Thursday said local government officials on President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s “narco-list” are still allowed to run in next year’s mid-term elections unless convicted with finality.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark following the statement of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that it would seek the disqualification of erring officials, particularly those suspected to be involved in the illegal drug trade.

“Point well-taken but the President is a lawyer. He knows that they cannot be disqualified unless they have been convicted with finality,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque said the accessory penalty of disqualification from public office has been decreed by the court.

Earlier, officer-in-charge Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said since 2016, there are 300 local officials facing administrative cases who might be suspended and dismissed.

A total of 93 local officials are included on the narco-list while 250 others have pending cases investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Año added.

He said there is no need for any legislation on the matter because the Commission on Elections has the authority to disqualify candidates.

The period for the filing of Certificates of Candidacy of all candidates in the forthcoming elections will be from Oct. 11 to 17, except on Oct. 13 (Saturday) and Oct. 14 (Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PNA)