Presidential peace adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza said on Thursday, September 8, that President Rodrigo Duterte denied pointing former President Fidel Ramos as a source of the narco-list.
“President Duterte categorically denied media reports claiming that former President Fidel Ramos was the original source of the so-called drug list,” Dureza said in his statement sent to the media.
“To say that the source of the narcotics list came from President Ramos is a total fabrication,” Dureza quoted Duterte.
Dureza’s statement came after several reports surfaced about Duterte claiming that Ramos showed him a list of government officials linked to the illegal drug trade when the former president tried to convince him to join the presidential race.
But those media reports also came after Duterte, speaking to the Filipinos in Vientiane, Laos on Monday night, September 5, he narrated how Ramos repeatedly visited Davao City to persuade him to run for president.
Watch the video below and go straight to mark 19:30, when Duterte started talking about Ramos and the drug list:
“You know, President Ramos went to Davao four times, not three times. Four. Tapos noong una, wala siyang pinakita, basta sabi lang niya, ‘You must run because it’s about time that Mindanao would have its own president’,” Duterte narrated.
“’Yun lang ang usapan, limitado. And you can ask him, buhay pa si Ramos eh. The second time, he was strongly urging me to run. Sabi niya, ‘Ikaw lang ang makapigil nito kung papano.’ Then he showed me a list ng mga – nandoon na – mga generals sa droga. Pati pulis, ganoon kakapal, hindi ko pa binitawan ‘yung iba kasi vina-validate ko pa,” he added.
Duterte said that Ramos urged him to run for the presidency to curb the drug problem in the Philippines, despite his lack of funding.
“Sabi niya (Ramos), ‘No. If you keep on refusing, this country will go to the dogs.’ Pinakita niya, ‘What can you do with this?’ Sabi ko, nakita ko mga generals, ganoon. Hindi naman akin ‘yun. Pati ‘yung kay de Leila (Senator Leila de Lima), hindi ‘yun akin,” Duterte said.
In July, Duterte revealed the names of five police generals, retired and active, allegedly protecting drug lords. A few weeks later, he exposed an even longer list of government officials, including judges, police, and local government officials, with links to drugs. His most recent revelation was a drug matrix of the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison, tagging de Lima, Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, and Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino Jr.
According to Dureza, Duterte clarified that the only thing Ramos told him was to run for president to help solve the drug problem.
“The only recurring message to him was the need for him to run for president due to the many challenges facing the nation, drugs being one of them,” Dureza explained in his statement.