24-hr ultimatum lapses: Abella says narco list a ‘warning’

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President Rodrigo Duterte named government officials, members of the judiciary, and police officials allegedly linked to illegal drugs during a speech in Davao early Sunday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Twenty-four hours — that’s all the time President Rodrigo Duterte gave alleged personalities involved in the drug trade to come forward. The ultimatum was set Sunday at 1:00 a.m.

Some have come forward and reported to the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

The first to report was San Rafael, Bulacan Mayor Cipriano “Goto” Violago Jr. He was followed by former Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur Mayor Rasmiyah Macabago, and former San Pablo City Mayor Vicente Amante among others. They all denied that they are or have been coddlers of the illegal drug trade.

Iloilo Mayor Jed Mabilog, former Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, and Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales also denied President Duterte’s allegations.

“It’s up to the secretary of the DILG what he intends to do. There will be administrative sanctions, of course, if found true,” Duterte said Sunday as he revealed the names of local government officials, PNP officials, and members of the judiciary allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

Duterte admits though, he may be wrong about some names, but stressed the list has been validated by the police and the military.

If he ends up wrong about them, he said he’s ready to face the consequences and even apologize. But for now, his priority, he said is letting the people know.

Also read: Alleged narco-politicians deny involvement in illegal drug trade

Narco list a ‘warning’

In an interview on Monday, Presidential spokesperson Ernie Abella said the narco list of President Duterte is a “warning” to those whose names were mentioned.

“In a very real sense, the naming is a warning. It’s a warning that we do have sufficient intelligence reports,” Abella said.

Asked whether those who come forward will automatically be absolved, Abella said: “Not necessarily absolved. But it’s a way of clarifying their names.”

Abella added, many in the list have also sent “feelers,” implying a possible “surrender” to clear their names on the issue.

Judiciary caught off-guard by narco list

In her letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno told President Duterte that naming some members of the judiciary, and linking them to drug allegations, may be premature.

She said they were caught unprepared — which may cause conflicts in the schedule of the hearings of these judges.

Sereno also expressed fears for the lives of the judges named by the president. She said they may now become vulnerable subjects of extrajudicial killings.

Sereno said the high court has asked the Philippine National Police to allow judges to carry firearms or self-defense weapons until a formal investigation concludes they are guilty.

Sereno stressed that the high court appreciates the President’s effort to help them clean their ranks. However, she adds there is no need for the accused judges to show up before the Supreme Court. She also cautions them from “surrendering” or submitting themselves to the police.

According to Sereno, they are also investigating a judge who is possibly linked to the illegal drug trade, but is not included in Duterte's list.

The chief justice assured the President, the Supreme Court will also have its own probe based on information shared with them.

CNN Philippines’ Tricia Terada, Isabella Montano, Ina Andolong, and Fiona Nicolas contributed to this report.

Watch: The illegal drug trade and the elections