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‘Just a statement of fact,’ Roxas says of Duterte’s ‘narco-list’

MANILA – There is nothing wrong with President Rodrigo Duterte’s release of a new ‘narco-list’ just two months before the midterm elections, opposition senatorial candidate Mar Roxas said Saturday. 

Roxas, who as former Interior Secretary once oversaw local government affairs, described Duterte’s public naming of local officials with alleged links to the illegal drug trade as a “statement of fact.”

Those named, among them reelectionists, had claimed that politics was behind the release of the new list.

“Para sa akin naman, basta may kaso then it is just a statement of fact,” Roxas told reporters on the sidelines of his market campaign in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

(For me, as long as cases were filed, then it is just a statement of fact.)

“Ang importante may kaso hindi ‘yung sabi-sabi lang or intel-intel kuno lang,” said Roxas, who was among Duterte’s rivals in the 2016 presidential elections.

(What is important is that cases were filed and it was not based only on hearsay or alleged intelligence information.)

DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya earlier said it was “unfair” to label the narco-list collated by his department as a “political move.”

“It would be unfair for them to ascribe bad intentions on our part because this was not done for politics,” Malaya told ANC.

“We expect that those who are implicated here would rebut and refute the allegations in the proper venue,” he said.

Among those on the list were 8 officials running under the banner of Duterte’s ruling PDP-Laban.