- President Rodrigo Duterte named five PNP generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs
- Panelo defended that Duterte did not break the law in shaming the PNP generals
- The presidential legal counsel also denied that there has been a trial by publicity
According to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte did not violate any law when he publicly revealed the names of five police generals allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Panelo explained that the top Philippine National Police (PNP) officials should actually thank Duterte for giving them an opportunity to defend themselves from the accusations.
"There is no violation of any law. In fact, dapat magpasalamat sila kasi kung tsinismis ka lang wala kang pagkakataon na ipaglaban ang sarili mo," Panelo said.
(There is no violation of any law. In fact, they should thank him [Duterte] because if he just gossiped about them, you will not have the chance to defend yourself.)
Panelo also pointed out that Duterte is a lawyer and an ex-prosecutor who knows and understands his legal limitations. He added that Duterte started gathering evidence against the top cops since 2015.
The presidential legal counsel also denied that the president endangered the officials to trial by publicity. He explained that Duterte allowed the accused to air their side of the story and deny the accusations against them through the media.
"Hindi totoo ang trial by publicity. [It] will come only when may inakusahan ka at ang media concentrate on the accusation at 'di mo pinagbigyan ang kabila to air their side," Panelo explained.
(It is not true that there is a trial by publicity. It will come only if the media only concentrated on the accusations and the accused were not allowed to air their side.)
On Tuesday, the newly-sworn in president shocked the nation when he named five police officials who are allegedly involved in the illegal drug business. The cops who were named were retired Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot, retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio, Director Joel Pagdilao, and Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz.
(photo credit: newsinfo.inquirer.net)
The five PNP generals denied these allegations and complained about the lack of due process in their case. They also pointed out that the intelligence received by the president about their involvement were wrong information.
However, Panelo and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III said that President Duterte would not have revealed the sensitive information to the public if his leads and sources were not solid. Panelo also assured the public that the accused officials will be given proper due process in defending themselves.-DN, Kami Media