President’s query explained as another ‘figure of speech’

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte’s recent statement asking the military and police why former policeman Eduardo Acierto is still alive was just “a figure of speech,” Malacañang clarified Thursday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President merely wanted to know why Acierto has not yet been arrested despite existing warrants against him.

Panelo made the comment after the government offered a P10-million bounty for information that could lead to the arrest of Acierto who faces charges in connection with the alleged smuggling of shabu shipment last year.

“Eh ano lang iyon, figure of speech [That’s just figure of speech]… you should be used to the President’s style of language,” Panelo told reporters in the Palace when asked about the President’s comment on Acierto.

“Ibig sabihin niya na, “O bakit hindi ninyo pa naaaresto ‘yan, akala ko ba may mga warrants of…” iyon ang ibig niyang sabihin [He means that, ‘Why haven’t you arrested him? I thought there are warrants.’ That’s what he meant],” he added.

Duterte recently accused Acierto of criminal involvement and said he wanted to know from the military and police why the former cop is still alive. He also accused Acierto of committing treason for alleged selling government weapons to communist rebels.

Acierto earlier identified the President’s former economic adviser Michael Yang and another businessman as allegedly involved in drug smuggling in the country but the Palace and the Philippine National Police allegedly ignored his report.

Duterte, however, explained that he ignored Acierto’s supposed intelligence report on Yang since the former cop was corrupt. He described Acierto as a “f*cking idiot” who was allegedly involved in corruption and kidnap-for-ransom activities.

As he discredited Acierto, the President has defended Yang from drug allegations, saying he is a legitimate businessman known to senior Chinese government officials.