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Palace explains why alleged narco-politicians still win in May polls

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By Prince Golez

“Pragmatic yung mga botante.”

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this reaction after some local politicians emerged victorious in the May midterm elections despite their inclusion in President Duterte’s list of narco-polticians.

“Yung dynamics ng local iba. Sila ang nakakaalam dun sa mga kandidato nila. Kahit na kasi, like in one, I will not mention, one particular province, not Davao, somewhere in the… Pag tinanong mo yung mga botante, ‘O ansa drug list bakit niyo binoto?’ ‘Aba nasa drug list nga pero grabe naman ang tulong sa namin dito’,” said Panelo.

Expected winners whose names were implicated by Duterte include Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, Zambales Rep. Jeff Khonghun, Laguna Mayor Caesar Perez, Batangas Mayor Eulalio Alilio, Antique Mayor Julius Pacificador, and Iloilo Mayor Siegfriedo Betita among others.

“Tumutulong sa kanila. Pag yung mga anak nila may sakit dinadala sa ospital, medisina ganyan. Kahit naman nasa drug list binoboto pa rin nila, iba ang dynamics eh, more on necessity. But the president has already warned kaya siansabi niya bahala kayo eh ako siansabi ko na sa inyo,” he added.

Asked if the President’s warning was ineffective, Panelo said: “Sa iba effective, sa iba kahit naniniwala sila kay Presidente dahil mas kailangan nila yung tulong nung ng hinalal nila, e binoto pa rin nila.”

Duterte’s mouthpiece, meanwhile, said charges against those in the narco-list will always depend on the evidence.

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