MANILA- Releasing a list of politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs violates the right to due process, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Thursday.
The CHR said releasing the list at this time would only fuel "reckless mud-slinging, character assassinations, and violence."
"The Commission on Human Rights reiterates that the publication of a 'List of Narcopoliticians' would constitute a denial of a person’s right to due process," the rights body said in a statement.
"If we can withhold judgment against some candidates still facing plunder cases before the Sandiganbayan, Secretary Año can also respect and follow due process," it said.
The CHR was referring to Interior Sec Eduardo Año, who earlier said that his office would release a "narco-list" ahead of the start of the campaign for local elections on March 30.
Malacañang earlier said that the impending release of a narco-list was not a government-backed smear campaign.
The CHR urged the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to instead take on more "effective legal measures" in going after big-time drug lords and their coddlers.