Duterte's drug list: What we know so far

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No honeymoon period. In his first 50 days in office, President Rodrigo Duterte publicly named over 150 government officials and public servants allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, and ordered active police officials relieved from office. (File photo)

[Update as of Saturday, 1:30 p.m.]

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday talked about the "narco-list," which he said contains 1,000 names of mayors, governors, congressmen, barangay captains, and police officers.

Speaking at the 5th Infantry Division's camp in Isabela, Duterte said he will turn over the list to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

 

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Guilty until proven innocent?

After having their names dragged in the country's illegal drug trade by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself, several of the accused government officials, police officers and drug lords have turned themselves in to clear their names.

Five days into the presidency, Duterte shocked the nation when he named five police generals he said were protectors of drug syndicates. They all denied the allegations. The three active officials were soon put under investigation by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).

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The President then went on to naming the alleged drug lords themselves. Complete with a chart illustration of the purported drug trade network, Duterte publicly named the country's "top three drug lords" on July 7.

Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim met with Duterte in Davao City saying he is not the "Peter Lim" also known as "Jaguar" leading illegal drug operations in the Visayas.

Related: PNP Chief: Killing of suspected drug lord is birthday gift to Interior Secretary

Exactly a month after naming alleged drug lords, the President identified government officials, members of the judiciary, and police officials allegedly linked to illegal drugs. Some local officials went to Camp Crame to claim innocence, while all active police officers were relieved from their posts.

"It's very important for the people to know the state of things of conditions in this country. That is my sworn duty," the tough-talking President said in a speech in Davao City early morning on August 7, as he read the list, which he said also included some of his friends.

Is the list accurate?

The President, who won the May 9 elections by a clear lead over his rivals, received praises from his staunch supporters for his steps in fighting the drug problem.

But critics were also quick to express their concerns, including Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who called Duterte's public announcement of alleged drug personalities as "premature."

She said of the seven judges implicated by the President, one was already dead, another dismissed for incompetence, while the rest were either retired. Only one had jurisdiction over drugs cases in court.

Sereno said the high court is investigating a judge over drug use but she said the judge, whom she did not name, is not on Duterte's list.

Several errors also mar the list, including a former spokesperson for a progressive organization who was listed as a party-list representative but was actually never a legislator.

Aside from the dead judge Sereno pointed out, a former mayor from Talipao, Sulu is also reportedly dead. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also said one of their men tagged on the list died in 2010, while four others have been discharged from service.

Duterte said he does not see the need to exempt dead people from the list. "I just wanted to impress to the public na noon pa alam na namin ang negosyo ninyo (even before we already knew of your business). Since your name is there, leave it, and I will publish it the way it is there."

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) stood by the President, saying the list is accurate and corroborates with their own records.

Gov't officials as drug suspects

The 56 blacklisted local government officials included 23 incumbent mayors, 18 former mayors, and other current and former elected officials from different parts of the country.

As of August 17, 48 have denied allegations before authorities or the media, subjected themselves to probe, or surrendered their firearms. The public has not heard from the rest of the accused.

Duterte is expected to release more names of alleged "narco-politicians."

Read: Duterte: Fight illegal drugs first, and then gambling

If found guilty

Data from PDEA show a total of 623 government officials and employees were nabbed in anti-drug operations from 2011 to 2015.

PDEA's data also showed, the number grew six-fold in just five years - from 29 in 2011 to 201 in 2015.

In 2015, at least one public servant was caught with illegal drugs every two days.

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Shabu remains the most prevalent illegal drug. It was seized in nine in 10 arrests conducted by the PDEA in 2014.

Read: Malacañang claims success in war on drugs

Perhaps the most high-profile public servants arrested for alleged drug use during the past administration were detained former drug enforcement agent Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino in January this year and  former mayor and then incumbent Camarines Sur vice mayor Andre Hidalgo in October 2013.

What happens when government officials themselves succumb to illegal drug use and trade?

It not only damages the public's trust and confidence - it also endangers the country's anti-drug abuse campaign as they open potential ties with drug syndicates.

"Private illicit drug use by public sector employees risks bringing government officials - and the information they may hold - into the orbit and influence of organized crime groups," the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity said in its website.

Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 mandates the government to "pursue an intensive and unrelenting campaign against the trafficking and use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances."

Under the law, government officials and employees found guilty of the importation, sale, manufacture, use, and/or possession of dangerous drugs and similar substances shall be permanently disqualified from holding public office.

Erring government officials or employees face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to ₱10 million.

WATCH: The illegal drug trade and the elections

CNN Philippines Research, Regional Desk and intern Andrea Trinidad contributed to this report.