MANILA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte released on Thursday a new list of 46 politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs.
Duterte read some of the names during the National Peace and Order Council meeting in Davao City Thursday night. He said the politicians on the new list were vetted and validated by authorities.
The Philippine president said the Department of Interior and Local Government has filed administrative cases against the local officials.
The list includes 33 local mayors, eight vice mayors and three members of the House of Representatives, most of them are running a position in the midterm elections in the Philippines.
Duterte said, "An official's right to privacy is not absolute and there is a compelling reason to prioritize the state and the people."
"As your president, my ultimate concern is the pursuit of order in government," Duterte said before he exposed the names of the officials.
The president also said there are other local government officials with alleged links to illegal drugs trade but the government agencies needed further verification.
"Let's not name the others because I'm not sure yet. Those who are facing cases are somewhat validated, we can say we have gathered enough proof," he said during a meeting with top police and military officials.
It is not the first list of government officials with alleged links to illegal drug trade released by the Duterte administration. Before, Duterte already named two lists including judges, local officials and policemen.
After Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30, 2016, he vowed to end the drug menace in the country.
Since the current administration launched the war on drugs on July 1, 2016, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency have arrested 170,689 drug suspects in 119,841 anti-illegal drugs operations as of January 31, 2019.
Duterte recently said he intended to end the country's drug problem by the time he steps down in 2022.