VIENTIANE, Laos -- A Cabinet official on Thursday denied reports that former President Fidel Ramos was the source of President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of government officials with alleged involvement in illegal drugs. This, after the president told Filipinos in Laos earlier this week that Ramos had shown him a list of officials with supposed connections to illegal drugs,
“President Duterte categorically denied media reports claiming that former President Fidel Ramos was the original source of the so-called drug list,” presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said in a Facebook post. "To say that the source of the narcotics list came from President Ramos is a total fabrication.” Dureza said Duerte had clarified that in various occasions when he met with Ramos before the elections, the only recurring message to him was the need for him to run for president because of the challenges facing the nation including illegal drugs.
Duterte claimed that Ramos was the source of the so-called narco list during a speech before the Filipino community here last Monday. His statements were recorded on camera and were included in the official transcript released to reporters. “You know President Ramos went to Davao four times---three times po. Tapos iyong una wala siyang pinakita, basta sabi lang niya, ‘you must run because it’s about time that Mindanao would have its own president.’ Iyon lang ang usapan limitado doon,” the president said.
“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 general sa droga, pati iyong pulis ganoon kakapal. Hindi ko pa binitawan iyong iba, kasi bina-validate ko pa.” Duterte has accused more than 160 incumbent and former local, police, and military officials of involvement in the narcotics trade. Many of those named denied the allegations while others were unable to, being already dead. The Supreme Court has also launched an investigation into active judges included on the list.