PDEA chief denies protecting drug suspect

Published April 9, 2019, 8:18 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Chito Chavez

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-General Aaron Aquino lashed at former police officer Eduardo Acierto for accusing him of protecting presidential ally and suspected illegal drug personality Michael Yang.

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)

“Acierto’s claim that I am a protector of Michael Yang is a blatant lie. His accusation is completely baseless. I may say that this is the work of a desperate man,’’ Aquino said.

Aside from Aquino, Acierto also has linked personalities close to President Duterte to the illegal drug trade like senatorial candidates Bong Go and Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

Acierto also claimed that Duterte, together with Go, Dela Rosa, and Aquino are “protecting” a group led by Yang who is a former presidential economic adviser to the illegal drug trade.

Aquino denied Acierto’s accusations and said that he even initiated the investigation on Yang from day one when he was told about his alleged illegal drug links.

“In fact, until now my Regional Directors are still gathering data about Michael Yang,’’ he added.

“I am clean. My conscience is clean. And I can appear in any avenues to clear my name on this matter,’’ Aquino said.

The PDEA chief also welcomed any probe on him that will be conducted by other law enforcement agencies and investigating bodies.

Acierto complained that instead of launching an investigation on Yang’s supposed illegal drug trade, they chose to come after him instead.

Earlier, Dela Rosa a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief denied Acierto’s fresh accusation insisting he has always supported the President’s war on illegal drugs.

He said that he would have nabbed Yang if there was confirmation and substantial evidence linking him to the illegal drug trade.

Go, s Duterte’s long-time personal aide, also denied he was protecting drug-linked personalities.

Duterte, who had lashed at Acierto for his earlier accusations, also vouched for Yang’s innocence. (Chito A. Chavez)