March 15, 2019 The 46 narcopoliticians, whose names were announced by President Duterte, is a product of almost 14 months revalidation and workshop of Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Deparment of Interior and Local Govenrment (DILG) as resource person. Included in the list were three members of the House of Representatives, one Provincial Board Member, 35 Mayors, and 7 Vice-Mayors.
This is only the partial list of narcopoliticians. Others are still being revalidated while there are some, who were transferred to civilian list, since they are no longer holding or running for public office. The names of politicians that were not announced are subject for continuous validation and case build-up by the intelligence agencies of the government. The narcolist undergone revalidation and verification process through monthly workshops conducted by PNP, PDEA, NICA, AFP and DILG. PDEA and other law enforcement agencies will continue to conduct case build up against these narcopoliticians.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is also conducting their own investigation against these 46 narcopoliticians in support to the law enforcement efforts. Further, PDEA will also forward a copy of summary of information of the three Representatives included in the list to the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privilege. DILG, on the other hand, filed complaints against the 46 validated narcopoliticans before the Ombudsman for grave misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, conduct unbecoming of a public officer and Gross Neglect of Duty.
The personalities clearly are still given their “day in court” since cases were filed by the DILG wherein they are given the opportunity to defend their rights, seek relief, or set forth their claims. Basically, their rights are still afforded them. Our government has a greater responsibility to the state and the public because the interest of the majority is greater than that of the erring few. The Supreme Court provided a strong ruling on the superiority of public’s right to information as against an individual’s right to privacy.
In several decisions on cases, the Supreme Court affirmed that the right to privacy is not absolute when there is compelling reason to prioritize the interest of the state. The disclosure of valuable and valid information is needed to curtail and minimize corruption amongst officials of the government, to promote the highest standard of honesty in public service and to elevate morality in public administration. This is the reason why public officials have limited right to privacy as compared to ordinary individuals.
These officials serve the public and are threfore accountable to the public. The Constitution, likewise, protects the public’s basic right to information and access to government transactions, documents and operations.