BARANGAY officials involved in illegal drugs should be charged criminally and administratively by appropriate agencies, said Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III yesterday.
Espinosa’s reaction on what can be done to barangay officials involved in drugs was sought following reports that Barangay Captain Remia Gregori was receiving income fromthe illegal drugs transactions of his son, Missy. Gregori, sister of slain drug lord Richard Prevendido, denied the accusation.
“If you have evidence a case should be filed.Whoever has evidence you file a case. It is the (concerned) agency that can file cases,” Espinosa said.
The mayor explained erring barangay officials can be charged with criminal or administrative cases before a court or the Ombudsman. Doing this can be an “eye-opener to some, and to the people concerned.”
Meanwhile, the mayor advised Gregori to “clean your hands, whatever that might entail.”
“You are accused (that they remit illegal drugs income to you), then, you prove that you don’t receive such money,” Espinosa said.
The mayor opined that resignation from office is another option. “In a way, kun mag-resign ka ginapakita mo na you are not using your office as…a guise or factor para ma-pursue mo ang amo na nga aktibidades, pakita ka sang good faith.”
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Regional Drug Enforcement Unit (RDEU) classified Gregori as High-Value Target Level 3 for allegedly protecting and tolerating his son and relatives in selling illegal drugs in her barangay. The Sangguniang Panlungsod had also probed her alleged drug involvement, together with two other barangay captains, Keith Espinosa of Monica and Noemi Jablo of Desamparados.
While PDEA apprised Espinosa on the status of drug-affected barangays in the metro, he said he cannot divulge the sensitive information so as not to compromise police and PDEA operations.
Meanwhile, Espinosa believes it is about time that the names of barangay officials included in the narco list of President Duterte be made public for the benefit of the electorate.
“Naghambal ang Presidente na basi paguwaon ang listahan, then the electorate should not vote for them,” Espinosa said. The President said 40% of barangay captains are involved in illegal drugs.