PDEA chief on Acierto’s accusation: Completely baseless

MANILA Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino on Tuesday denied the accusation of dismissed police official Eduardo Acierto that he is protecting Michael Yang, a former presidential economic adviser accused of having links to the illegal drug trade.

Acierto's claim that I am a protector of Michael Yang is a blatant lie. His accusation is completely baseless, Aquino said in a statement.

Aquino said he can face anyone or any investigation from other law enforcement agencies with clean conscience.

I am clean. My conscience is clean. I can appear in any avenues to clear my name on this matter. I am also open to any investigation from other law enforcement agencies and investigating bodies, Aquino said.

Acierto has claimed he submitted the intelligence report containing alleged Yang's links to the illegal drug trade to Aquino, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa and police Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan in 2017.

How can he say I am a protector when I forwarded Acierto's intelligence report to MalacaAang. I initiated investigations on Michael Yang's activities from day one that I was told about it. In fact, until now my Regional Directors are still gathering data about him, Aquino said.

Acierto, a former of the PNP's anti-narcotics units for at least 18 years, was implicated in the PHP11-billion worth of smuggled drugs concealed in magnetic lifters found at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and in a warehouse in Cavite in October last year.

The sacked police official went into hiding as he is now facing criminal complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and PDEA.

PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde earlier said Acierto had all his chances during the Senate hearing to spill everything that he knows but the latter did not show up.

My advice for him is to man-up and face the charges squarely rather than shoot from the hip with indiscriminate accusations, he said.

Albayalde has said as far the PNP is concerned Yang is not included in any watch list or investigation of person with links to illegal drugs.

In his recent speech in Koronadal, South Cotabato, President Rodrigo Duterte blasted Acierto for making unfounded allegations.

Duterte said Yang is a plain businessman and has solid integrity, even as he called on the public not to believe Acierto.

He called Acierto a "corrupt" policeman allegedly involved in kidnapping, including that of a South Korean national killed inside Camp Crame.

Duterte said Acierto was dismissed from his post for his involvement in the disappearance of more than 1,000 rifles that found their way to the communist group. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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