PDEA chief takes leave of absence, but President still trusts him
The Palace denied on Thursday that President Duterte had anything to do with the decision of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Aaron Aquino to go on leave.
“As far as I know, the President had nothing to do with that,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said of Aquino’s decision to go on leave a few days after Mr. Duterte slammed the PDEA for making “assumptions” that a ton of shabu worth P6.8 billion slipped past authorities as shown by two empty magnetic lifters that were found in Cavite City.
Asked whether the President’s statement on PDEA meant he had lost confidence in Aquino, Roque said he did not think so. He noted that the Chief Executive had just said there was no direct evidence to show that the magnetic lifters contained shabu.
He said tests were done on the lifters but no residue of shabu was found there. And that was why he said the President was convinced that there was no need to speculate.
Roque said he did not know if President Duterte was aware that Aquino went on leave.
Asked whether the President had basis to say there was no shabu in the lifters, he said the President “acted on information given to him by the appropriate government agencies.” — CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO
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