De Lima calls for Acierto’s report to be made public

By Hannah Torregoza

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday said former Police Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto’s intelligence report linking Chinese businessman and presidential economic adviser Michael Yang in the illegal drug trade should be made public.

De Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the document Acierto had submitted to him in 2017, should be made available for public scrutiny and validation of the information.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Leila de Lima

“Almost three years since he launched his anti-narcotics campaign, Duterte still failed to apprehend big-time drug users and pushers who continue to profit from illegal activities, while he persistently targets the poor,” said de Lima, who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center while facing drug charges.

“Ito nga kaya ay dahil si Pangulong Duterte mismo ang Number 1 drug lord o protector ng mga drug lords sa bansa? (Is this because President Duterte himself is the number one drug lord or protector of drug lords in the country?)” De Lima asked.

As far as she is concerned, de Lima said Acierto’s intelligence report, if publicized and verified, will raise questions as to Duterte’s real involvement in the drug trade in the country.

“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, (Because if Mr. Duterte is really clean as he claims to be, why is he scared to have Yang and his alleged cohorts be investigated? Is he benefitting from this drug business or is he the real mastermind?),” she added.

Acierto, former deputy director for administration of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG), earlier surfaced to reveal that Yang and another Chinese national named Allan Kim were behind the large shabu laboratory discovered in Davao City in 2004.

The ex-cop, who has been hiding since he was accused of involvement in the P11-billion illegal drug shipment that was smuggled through magnetic weight lifters at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), earlier came out to disclose that he presented 2017 reports detailing Yang’s involvement in the illegal drug trade. According to Acierto, another Chinese national, Allan Lim, is also involved in the illicit trade.

According to Acierto, he submitted the confidential written report to his superiors in the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and to Sen. Richard Gordon and other officials from Malacañang in 2017, but no actions were done.

Acierto said he believes he earned the President’s ire for submitting the intelligence report on Yang, a close friend of Duterte, that is why he was wrongly accused of being involved in the P11-billion worth of illegal drugs smuggled through magnetic lifters in 2018.