De Lima to Acierto: Make public intel linking Michael Yang to drug trade
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday urged former Police Colonel Eduardo Acierto to make public the intelligence report he prepared which allegedly links Presidential Economic Adviser Michael Yang to the illegal drug trade.
The sacked police officer earlier presented 2017 documents detailing the alleged illegal drug links of Yang and Allan Lim, another Chinese national.
De Lima said the written document that Acierto submitted to authorities should be made available for public scrutiny and validation, as the report could raise questions on President Rodrigo Duterte’s real involvement in the drug trade.
“The intel report of Acierto, if publicized and verified, will raise questions as to Duterte’s real involvement in the drug trade in the country,” De Lima said in a statement.
“Kasi kung malinis talaga si Mr. Duterte, bakit naduduwag siyang paimbestigahan si Yang at ang kasabwat nito? Nakikinabang ba siya sa ‘drug business’ o siya ba ang totoong mastermind,” she added.
Acierto, former deputy director for administration of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) revealed that Yang and Lim were allegedly behind the large shabu factory discovered in Davao City in 2004.
Acierto claims that no actions were done after he submitted his report to his superiors in the PNP, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and to Senator Richard Gordon and officials in Malacañang in 2017.
But Senator Gordon, in an interview Tuesday, said Acierto himself admitted that he has no evidence that would link the President to the illegal drug trade.
“Wala daw syang ebidensya. Sa kanya galing yan. E papano naman ang gagawin ko dyan, e kung walang ebidensya, sa kanya na nanggaling,” Gordon said.
The senator confirmed having received a copy of Acierto’s report but said he did not block an investigation on Acierto’s allegations.
Acierto was earlier linked to the alleged smuggling of P11 billion worth of shabu, or crystal meth, into the country.
The former police official was cited in contempt after failing to show up in Senate hearings into the drug-smuggling mess.
Acierto believes he had earned the President’s ire for submitting the intelligence report on Yang, who was a close friend of the President, which is why he said he was wrongly accused of being involved in the P11 billion worth of illegal drugs smuggled inside magnetic lifters in 2018.
De Lima said Acierto’s intelligence report is of public interest because not only did it link a prominent personality connected to the President in illegal drug trade but it also casts doubts on the real purpose of the government’s war on drugs.
“Tila napakadali kay Mr. Duterte na balewalain ang intel report ni Acierto kasi mukhang nakikinabang siya sa ‘drug war’ na ginawa ng negosyo ng mga taong halang ang bituka,” she said.
The senator also urged the President to order a probe into the supposed involvement of Yang to the illegal drug trade to prove that the President is serious in its fight against illegal drugs.
“Kung galit ka talaga sa ilegal na droga at sa drug users at pushers, patunayan mo yan ngayon Mr. Duterte, at paimbestigahan si Yang,” De Lima said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier maintained that Yang was not involved in illegal drugs.
PNP chief Oscar Albayalde also cleared Yang, saying he was not included in the drugs watchlist.
Panelo also earlier said Acierto only “wants to get back” at someone when he accused Yang of being involved in illegal drugs.
President Duterte himself asked the military and police why Acierto is still alive.
“Huwag kayo maniwala dito, lalo na ito si Acierto ito nga ‘yung sa…tanungin ko kaya military at saka police bakit buhay pa ‘yang pu********* ‘yan,” Duterte said in his speech during the distribution of financial grants to the beneficiaries of the government’s unconditional cash transfer program in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. /muf
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