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DILG offers state witness protection to 207 barangay execs on watch list

State protection may be offered to any of the 207 barangay officials who wound up on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency's (PDEA) list of village executives with alleged links to illegal drugs.

"Depende kung papano siya gustong tumulong... We want them to become state witness[es], we will provide all the protection," said Interior OIC Eduardo Año on Monday.

"We shall assess the condition or the situation of these people. It is also part of the government to provide security to that official," he continued.

Año encouraged officials to come forward and seek protection with the government in exchange for information.

"Come forward to us and we will help you. If these barangay captains are real, come to us, open up, and we will do something to help you," he said.

"We'll evaluate the case, we'll evaluate the situation, evaluate the person," Año added. "Prove your worth; why do we have to help you?"

PDEA revealed the list of names on Monday along with the promise that charges will be filed against the barangay officials as soon as their cases are "airtight."

Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño and Assistant Secretary RJ Echiverri, meanwhile, began filing charges against officials who allegedly failed to create barangay anti-drug abuse councils (BADAC). — Rie Takumi/RSJ, GMA News