By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Reelected Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has urged the Duterte administration to pursue the immediate ouster of elected officials implicated in the narco-list even most of them got fresh mandates during last Monday’s midterm elections.
Barbers, current chair of the House committee on dangerous drugs, said the election victory of the majority of politicians implicated in the drug matrix must not stop the government from pursuing their removal from if there would sufficient evidence against them.
“Government should file charges already especially if the evidence at hand is overwhelming. If proven guilty, then the national government should not think twice in booting them out of office,” said Barbers.
The inclusion of several local government officials and lawmakers in the narco-list didn’t stop their constituents into electing them in the recent elections.
Incumbent Zambales Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun and his son, Olongapo City Mayor Jefferson Khonghun, were among those linked by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte in the illegal trade.
Based on the poll body’s transparency server, Rep. Khonghun secured his reelection bid after defeating former Rep. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay while the younger Khonghun was also victorious against Liberal Party’s (LP) Ramon Lacbain.
In Central Luzon, expected winners whose names were included in the drug matrix are Mayor Ferdinand Aguinaldo of Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; Mayor Erlon Agustin of Camiling, Tarlac and Mayor Cirpriano Violago Jr. of San Rafael, Bulacan.
In the Southern Tagalog Region (Region 4), winning local chief executives that were tagged as collaborators in the illegal-drug include Mayors Caesar Perez of Los Baños, Laguna; Raul Palino, of Teresa, Rizal; mayoralty bet Dennis Hernandez of Rodriguez, Rizal; Loreto Amante of San Pablo City, Laguna; Mayor Roderick Alcala of Lucena City, Quezon and Mayor Eulalio Alilio of Lemery, Batangas are sure victors in their mayoralty bids.