Former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Dionisio Santiago said President Rodrigo Duterte’s predecessor had knowledge of the 23 mayors allegedly involved in protecting illegal drug syndicates operating in the country.
Santiago said former President Benigno Aquino III and his executive secretary, Paquito Ochoa, Jr., were given the same list that is now in the hands of Duterte.
“They knew these individuals. We provided them with the list,” Santiago told The Manila Times.
Unfortunately, Santiago lamented that the government failed to prove the guilt of these officials during the Aquino administration.
“We simply lost the cases. After we were able to arrest their people who implicated them, we could not do anything when the case had been dumped,” he said.
Santiago believes it is better to abolish the PDEA and let the Philippine National Police handle all the drug cases in the country so that such cases would gain progress.
Last week, Duterte identified five police generals who the president claimed were involved in the toxic trade and ordered them relieved from their assignments.
He then followed this through by presenting to the media a crime chart which allegedly showed the links of various drug lords to 23 local executives he said he would also name soon.
Photo from President Noynoy Aquino's official Facebook page