By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Richard Gordon on Sunday urged the heads of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to order the immediate arrest of former police officer Eduardo Acierto.
Senator Richard Gordon
(CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)
Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee that investigated the P11-billion shabu shipment last year, said the PNP and PDEA should work on the arrest of the dismissed policeman whose involvement in the drug shipment had been one of the highlights of the panel’s committee report.
“Please have him arrested, and have him face the charges against him before the regular courts,” Gordon said in an interview over Radio DZBB.
Acierto, who is in hiding, earlier surfaced to disclose that he sent an intelligence report to Malacañang, the PNP, PDEA and other authorities wherein he linked former presidential adviser Michael Yang to the illegal drug trade.
However, Acierto said President Rodrigo Duterte did not act on his report.
In a speech a day after his disclosure, Duterte defended Yang from Acierto’s allegations, and accused the former policeman of being engaged in corrupt activities.
The senator, for his part, said that as far as he was concerned, Acierto offered no new evidence to support his claims that Yang was involved in the entry of illegal drugs in the country.
Asked if he will heed Senator Leila de Lima’s call to conduct an investigation into Acierto’s case, Gordon said he saw no need since the committee has already wrapped up its probe into the shabu shipment with a report recommending the filing of charges against Acierto and other personalities involved in the illegal drug shipment.
Back then, the lawmaker said, he gave Acierto all the opportunity to refute the allegations against him and present all the evidence needed to corroborate his claims during an executive session.
“The policemen were pointing to him as the one who knows how to open the magnetic lifters. He also admitted then he could enter the Bureau of Customs (BOC) anytime. According to him, he knows what is happening and he has a lot of informants,” Gordon narrated.
“He kept saying the President and Yang were close friends, kept on showing photos that already came out in the newspapers…all he said were hearsay, he did not show anything else,” Gordon lamented.
However, after getting the details, Acierto did not return to the Senate probe. “He did not return, so we cited him for contempt,” Gordon said.
He also said law enforcement authorities should, likewise, investigate Yang’s possible involvement in illegal drugs.
Gordon said he would only call for a new Senate probe if there is new evidence that could be presented.