Are we still under martial law?By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
At a Senate hearing Monday, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Jose Gutierrez accused his erstwhile deputy, Carlos Gadapan, of badmouthing a dead police general to emphasize a flaw in the latter’s character.
Gadapan, Gutierrez claimed, told his fellow officers that Major General Cesar Nazareno, former chief of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police, died of cancer after retirement because he was a crook.
Gadapan was recently summarily dismissed by President Benigno Aquino III from PDEA due to “loss of confidence” although he did not say why he had lost trust in PDEA’s second highest official.
Gutierrez’s accusation against Gadapan was his way of getting back at the latter whom he suspected of spreading rumors about his wife Estrella.
The trouble at PDEA started when this column exposed the huge debts—about P100 million by some estimates—reportedly incurred by Estrella due to her alleged addiction to gambling.
However, I did not learn about her gambling habit from Gadapan but from some of her creditors.
When I tried to verify the information I gathered about her from Gadapan through his live-in partner Malou Sanchez, the reply I always got was, “No comment.”
Sanchez, daughter of the late Brig. Gen. Evaristo Sanchez, former chief of V. Luna Medical Center, used to work for me at “Isumbong mo kay Tulfo” as finance manager.
In the years that Malou and Gadapan have been together, I was able to talk to the latter only twice: the first time was when she introduced me to him years ago and the night after the President sacked him from PDEA.
The depiction of Gadapan as a man who talks ill of others, even the dead, is out of line.
When I asked him what he knew about Estrella’s gambling habit, Gadapan said he didn’t want the unsavory report to come from him.
But I pressed him, saying that the other camp had already fired the first salvo.
I told him that since his reputation was on the line, he had the justification to hit back in self-defense.
That is if he’s innocent as he claims, I added.
Reluctantly, he said that yes, he had heard about Estrella’s heavy gambling so he checked the report himself, even going on surveillance at the casino where she gambled.
And then he confirmed reports that she had borrowed money from family friends and her husband’s subordinates at PDEA.
Estrella, he said, even tried to borrow P300,000 from him and told him to get it from his operational fund.
When he turned her down, she cursed him through text messages, Gadapan added.
I asked some PDEA insiders about Gadapan. All told me the same thing: He’s honest, clean and lives simply.
The President sacked the wrong guy at PDEA.
* * *
Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, chief of the Western Command, refuses to remove two Marine detachments in Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa, when there is no insurgency problem in the area.
This is despite a resolution passed by the barangay council denouncing the detachments whose soldiers scare residents.
Are we still under martial law?
More from this Column:
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner
- My fearless forecasts
- Jojo Binay’s juvenile tantrum
- Our twisted system of justice