PDEA investigation leads to another ‘Michael Yang’

By Chito Chavez

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino on Wednesday confirmed the agency had investigated the claim of former police officer Eduardo Acierto that Chinese businessman Michael Yang has illegal drug links.

He noted the probe resulted to a “Michael Yang” who was described as a “pusher” operating in Pangasinan adding the name is included in their yet-to-be-validated drug watch list.

PDEA Dir Aaron Aquino speaks during a press conference at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City, April 25 2018. (Mark BAlmores / MANILA BULLETIN)
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

Aquino noted the name of a certain Michael Yang is in the list of PDEA’s National Drug Information System (NDIS) which is a PDEA watch list, a list of cases still to be investigated.

The 2004 report indicated that one Michael Yang is an alleged drug pusher operating in Sual, Pangasinan.

However, PDEA spokesman Derick Arnold Carreon said the Michael Yang referred to by Acierto may not be the same Michael Yang in the PDEA watch-list.

He explained that there is no Michael Yang in the PDEA watch-list operating in the Cagayan De Oro and Davao region areas.

Explaining further, Carreon said Acierto who was then an active police officer in 2004 should have tracked down and arrested the Michael Yang he was referring to during his time in the force.

Aquino said they tried to track the Michael Yang on the list in Pangasinan but found out that he already left his rented house adding the agency is still validating the information until now.

Earlier, Acierto said Yang, who was appointed as presidential adviser, is a “drug lord” operating a drug laboratory in Cagayan de Oro City and Davao City.

Acierto said he prepared a report on Yang’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade in 2017 and submitted it to Duterte, Aquino, and then-Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa.

Aquino said he received the report from Acierto in August 2018 and forwarded it to Malacañang.
Aquino said he told then-Special Assistant to the President Bong Go to inform Duterte about Acierto’s report regarding Yang.

The PDEA chief noted as far as he knows, the President has already cleared Yang.

“The President made a statement about Colonel Acierto and Michael Yang. So I assumed nakarating kay Presidente ‘yung report na ‘yon,” Aquino concluded.

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