Interview with Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar
CNN Headlines – New day CNN Philippines by Amelyn Veloso
09 August 2016

VELOSO: Martin, let’s start with the list of personalities who are allegedly involved in the drug trade. Can you confirm: Is President Duterte’s list an old one?

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, there’s a list of the drug … alleged drug traders, drug coddlers, drug protectors. It’s been there since the last administration. And the list also includes the new ones that have been under investigation. So, it’s a mix.

VELOSO: Okay, so this is a mix of an old list and a new list. So, there is no other list now except this one. I mean, it’s based on from the past and what’s present right now? Just to clarify.

SEC. ANDANAR: It stays on from the recent past and it also has the list of the new persons of interest.

VELOSO: So why is there a name, Martin, of a reportedly deceased individual? We understand, government is requiring the family to produce a death certificate.

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, you know, it is difficult to be included and it is not easy to include just anyone on the list. They go through a process of vetting both in the PDEA and Philippine National Police. And as it is be not easy to be in the list, it is also very hard to be taken out of the list – and there is also a process. And that process requires, one, an investigation that person who is a suspect of illegal drugs is cleared; and the other one would be to also show death certificate that person is already dead.

Now, obviously, a death person cannot bring his own death certificate and show it to PDEA or Philippine National Police. So it must be the relative of the person who should go to the PDEA or the Philippine National Police to show the authorities that that particular is already dead, and for the relatives also to know what their relative has gone through or the activities that he was involved in when he was still alive.

VELOSO: So, Secretary Andanar, so was government expecting that there are discrepancies in the list?

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, you know, for the people in the Cabinet, once a list goes through the Cabinet or is read to the Cabinet, we assume that the list went through rigorous investigation or rigorous process. And even the President mentioned it himself during his speech that he is accountable to everything that he reads.

VELOSO: So are there names in PDEA’s order of battle?

SEC. ANDANAR: You know, I’m not a lawyer. I do not want to mix those terms ‘order battle,’ etc. But what I know is that, what is in PDEA or the Philippine National Police’s lists, these are the people who are in the drug watch list.

VELOSO: Okay, so how would the PNP process their cases? Will they forward the results of the investigation to the DOJ or the Ombudsman?

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, this is how I understand that it’s going: the Chief of the Philippine National Police is asking all of the persons of interest to submit themselves to the Philippine National Police Headquarters to show a counter affidavit or to prove to themselves and [to the] PNP that they are not in cahoots with any drug lords, they are not into drugs, they are not coddlers, etc. And they have to prove it before the Philippine National Police files its cases against them.

VELOSO: Now, Secretary Andanar, let’s go to the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Would you know if there would be full military honors or a 21-gun salute? And when will it be?

SEC. ANDANAR: The last time that I saw something or any official record related to the burial of the former President was when I released that memorandum that was given to me by the Secretary of the National Defense. And what is said there was, it is ordering Armed Forces of the Philippines to undertake the activity for the burial of the President; and it wasn’t really in detail, Amelyn.

VELOSO: All right. So last question, Secretary Andanar. There is supposedly another list – a list of rich individuals who are not paying their proper taxes. Can you confirm its existence? And when will the President reveal this?

SEC. ANDANAR: I cannot confirm the existence of that list because it wasn’t shown to us by the President when we had our last Cabinet meeting. And if I do see one also, I will not be in the position to announce it because I cannot preempt the President.

VELOSO: All right. Thank you so much, Secretary Martin Andanar, for taking our phone

SEC. ANDANAR: Thanks, Amelyn.

SOURCE:  NIB (News and Information Bureau)