Sen. Richard Gordon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / CATHY MIRANDA
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino should file criminal cases against showbiz personalities the agency claimed to be involved with illegal drugs, Senator Richard Gordon said Saturday.
“Unfair yun, Bakit ba kayo nagpapa-publicity? Aaron, General Aaron, hulihin mo, magkaso ka,” Gordon told DWIZ’s Usapang Senado.
(That is unfair. Why are you resorting to publicity? Aaron, General Aaron, arrest them, file a case.)
This was after the PDEA chief dropped hints on celebrities who are suspected to be drug traffickers included on government’s drug watchlist.
So far, Aquino bared that among the 31 celebrities, 11 are actresses while others are actors. A showbiz loveteam was also among those on the drugs watchlist.
READ: PDEA chief: 20 actors, 11 actresses on drugs watchlist / Showbiz love team on drug watch list likely in their 20s, says PDEA chief
With this, Gordon, who is a lawyer, said all public personalities have a right to be presumed innocent.
“Public persona ako, public persona ang mayor, public persona ang artist. Kahit na ganun, may karapatan ka pa rin na ‘wag kang akusahan. You are presumed innocent until proven otherwise,” the senator said.
(I am a public persona, a mayor is a public persona and even an artist is a public persona. Even then, we have the right not to be accused.)
“E kung ayaw natin ng demokrasya na ganun eh ‘di palitan na lang natin ang Constitution — that everybody is presumed guilty until proven otherwise. ‘Yun ba gusto natin?” he added.
(If we don’t want that kind of democracy then we should just change the Constitution — that everybody is presumed guilty until proven otherwise. Is that what we want?)
When the “narcolist” came out, Gordon has been asking authorities to file a case before releasing the names of those involved in the drugs watchlist.
The government’s narcolist included 46 politicians involved in the illegal drug trade as President Rodrigo Duterte announced. /jpv
READ: Gordon says exposing names in gov’t narcolist is ‘unfair’
RELATED STORY: PDEA chief says ‘celebrity’ pushers in drugs watchlist
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