Albayalde denies Acierto’s claim

Oscar D. Albayalde

PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday denied charges by ex-Police Colonel Eduardo P. Acierto that he failed to act on an intelligence report that two Chinese nationals close to President Duterte were involved in illegal drug activities.

“I would like to categorically debunk allegations made by dismissed Police Colonel Eduardo Acierto that I failed to act accordingly on an intelligence report that he purportedly submitted when he was still in the service with the defunct Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force,” the PNP chief said in a hurriedly-called press conference at Camp Crame.

He  said that Acierto, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1989, should also have prepared an “actionable plan” when he submitted the report to former PNP chief now senatorial candidate Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa since he used to be the deputy director of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group.

“First, since I assumed Office as Chief PNP on 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. If at all there was actionable intelligence on this report, Acierto should have acted on it and launched operations even without clearance,” he said.

“As far as the PNP is concerned, Michael Yang is not included in any watchlist or investigation of person with links to illegal drugs. 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.

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

Gen. Albayalde said that as part of routine process in the PNP, all intelligence information/reports are sent to the PNP Directorate for Intelligence for validation. He said that in the case of Acierto’s report, Gen. dela Rosa did not turn over to him such report.

The PNP chief said that there is also no PNP information on the alleged illegal activities of Michael Yang and one Alan Lim. PNP Deputy Director for Intelligence Brigadier General Ferdinand Divina said the names of the two are not included in the PNP-DI drug watch list.

Acierto’s mistah, PNP-DEG director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius D. Ferro was present before the press conference but did not join Gen. Albayalde in his briefing.

However, Gen. Albayalde said that just like the elusive Peter Lim, it could be possible that the two could have dozens of namesakes from the Chinese community. Peter Lim is the suspected Cebu drug kingpin who has been on the run since last year.

DRUG LORDS, CRIMINALS KNOWN FOR TRYING TO GET ‘HIGH CONNECTION’

The PNP chief said that persons involved in illegal activities want to make connections in high places including Malacanang Palace and the PNP national headquarters as part of their trade strategy.

“These people (criminals) want high connections. Sasabihin nila kaibigan nila si Presidente, papa-picture pa, it’s part of their trade craft,” he said while adding that Peter Lim was even once pictured with President Duterte during a private affair.

“Hahanap sila ng connect. On my part, me papa-picture tapos sasabihin na magkaibigan kami, very close pero hindi naman. They alter the photo when that involves the whole crowd. They can always do that,” he said.

He defended President Duterte on charges he is coddling drug personalities noting that the former Davao City mayor had made it very clear that the war on drugs will spare nobody including his friends and relatives.

Gen. Albayalde said that Acierto could also have said all those things before senators and congressmen last year but failed to appear during congressional inquiries.