By FROILAN GALLARDO
Special Correspondent .
NEARLY two dozen more barangay officials from Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, and Camiguin are facing the prospects of being added to the narco list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
PDEA regional director Wilkens Villanueva told a news conference on Thursday that 22 more barangay officials were still being investigated due to their alleged links to the illegal drug trade.
Villanueva said eight are from Bukidnon; five from Lanao del Norte; four from Misamis Oriental; three from Cagayan de Oro; one from Camiguin Island; and one from Misamis Occidental.
He said they would submit a new list to the PDEA national office as soon as they have completed their investigation.
The revelation came on the eve of the campaign period for the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. During a news conference, PDEA went public with its Region 10 list that included the names of 11 barangay officials throughout northern Mindanao.
The 11 officials were included in the PDEA’s nationwide narco list of 207 barangay politicians released by PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino two weeks ago.
Villanueva said of the 11 barangay officials in Region 10, seven are from Ozamiz City; three from Iligan city, and another one is from Misamis Occidental.
“I assure you this will not serve as a hit list,” Villanueva told reporters here.
He said they released the names of the barangay officials so the voters will know who they are voting this coming May 14 elections.
This paper is withholding the identities of the barangay officials until PDEA files proper criminal charges against them.