3 La Union Execs’ Names Removed From Duterte’s Narco-list

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Mayor Reynaldo Flores of Naguilian town, mentioned by President Duterte as one of the country’s narco-politicians and tagged him as ‘high value target, along with two other La Union mayors and the late former Congressman Eufranio Eriguel, were already out in the new list presented by the President in Davao City Thursday.

In an interview, Mayor Flores said, “ I’m glad that I was not included because I learned that the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) of Region 1 has recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the removal of our names his list of narco politicians because they (RPOC) found us clear of any involvement in illegal drug activities.”

Flores, together with Mayor Eulogio Clarence Martin De Guzman III of Bauang town, and Mayor Dante Garcia of Tubao town were not mentioned in the new list of 46 politicians re-validated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Based on the RPOC resolution submitted to Malacaňang, members of the RPOC Revalidation Sub-Committee, who was tasked to investigate the narco-politicians in Region 1, unanimously recommended that the names of Flores and De Guzman and Pangasinan Representative Jesus Celeste, be deleted in the President’s narco-list.

However, Celeste was still included in the new list while Garcia, whose name was not indicated in the RPOC report, but was out in the new list.

It was cited in the Committee’s findings on the names of the three politicians that ‘there is no evidence of the target’s involvement in illegal drug activity.’

“Upon deliberation and after intensive examination on the results of the different investigations conducted by the PDEA, PNP, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Military Intelligence Group (MIG), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the DILG, this Committee has arrived to the conclusion that the following drug personalities and narco-politicians be recommended for delisting from President Duterte’s narco-list,” reads part of the RPOC resolution.

The Committee has declared Eriguel as ‘death under investigation’ after he was assassinated on May 12, 2018 while speaking in a campaign sortie in Agoo, La Union for the Barangay Elections.

De Guzman was earlier cleared by former PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa during a visit in Bauang recently.

On January 27, 2019, on a recorded interview aired over the government-owned television PTV4 hosted by Billy Andal, board director of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Flores thanked the RPOC and vowed to extend full support to the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

The resolution was signed by Governor Imee Marcos, RPOC chair, Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, RPOC vice chair, Bryan Babang, PDEA regional director, Lt. Col. Rey Rico, MIG Commander, Cherry Tamang, OIC NICA, and James Fadrilan, DILG regional director. Jun Elias/Northbound Philippines News