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Albayalde says PNP has no intel report on Michael Yang’s drug links

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Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Tuesday denied receiving an intelligence report from dismissed police Col. Eduardo Acierto which tagged Davao-based Chinese businessman and presidential economic adviser Michael Yang and a certain Allan Lim to the illegal drugs trade in the country.

“Since I assumed office as Chief PNP in April 2018, I do not remember having received any copy of an alleged report that identified presidential adviser Michael Yang as being involved in drug activities. I would like to categorically debunk allegations made by dismissed Police Col. Eduardo Acierto that I failed to act accordingly to an intelligence report that he purportedly submitted when he was still in the service with the defunct Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force,” Albayalde told reporters in a press briefing on Tuesday.

He said that if there was actionable information on such report at all, Acierto should have acted on it and launched operations even without clearance.

“The operation unit like PDEG (PNP Drug Enforcement Group), they have to inform or they usually inform the immediate superior. It involves crossing of boundaries or probably enforcement of other units. They report it the Chief PNP pero kapag ni-report niya na, dapat meron ka ng plano (You should already have a plan). Meron ka ng plano kung talagang may actionable information at mabigat na ebidensiya ilalatag mo na lang kung papaano mo nalang gawin (You should have actionable information and adequate evidence and then you will tell your plan). If it is an (intelligence) information, (it will go to the) Directorate for Intelligence for validation. If validation, ipapasa sa (it will be passed to the) operating arm for active police operation,” he explained.

Acierto, who had been a member of the PNP anti-narcotics units for at least 18 years, said he prepared the report in August 2017 and submitted it to then PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director Aaron Aquino and police Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan.

Acierto was one of the government officials implicated in the PHP11-billion worth of smuggled drugs concealed in magnetic lifters which was found at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) as well as in a warehouse in Cavite.

The sacked police official went into hiding as he is now facing criminal complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and PDEA.

“I can only speculate that Acierto could be doing all these indiscriminate allegations in a vain attempt to muddle the ongoing case resulting from his indictment in the P6.4-billion shabu smuggled inside magnetic lifters thru the Bureau of Customs,” Albayalde said.

The PNP chief said Acierto had all his chance during the Senate hearing to spill everything that he knows but he did not show up.

“My advice for him is to “man-up” and face the charges squarely rather than shoot from the hip with indiscriminate accusations,” he added.

Albayalde also said that as far the PNP is concerned, Yang is not included in any watch list or investigation of person with links to illegal drugs.

“That would be part of the validation to be conducted. Kung talagang (If it is) based on allegation, as far as the PNP is concerned, wala po kaming (we do not have) information whatsoever on the alleged illegal activities of Michael Yang, kahit na yung sinasabi niyang (even about the one he mentioned, a certain) Mr. (Allan) Lim, wala kaming (we do not have) information on that,” the PNP chief noted.

Asked on the timing of Acierto’s allegations, Albayalde said he was not privy on whether this was a demolition job against dela Rosa, a senatorial candidate.

Albayalde, however, assured that the PNP was ready to provide security to Acierto after he claimed receiving death threats.

“If he has death threats, he can surface and tell us about it. Probably we can help him just like any other citizen,” he said. (PNA)

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