FORMER Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte won’t spare anybody, including friends and close associates, in the fight against illegal drugs.
Knowing President Duterte, Go said the President would dissociate himself with any friends or allies who are found to have links with the illegal drug trade.
“Kilala ko si Pangulong Duterte. Hindi siya papayag na meron siyang kaibigan na lalapit sa kanya at papasok sa iligal na droga,” Go stressed.
“Uulitin ko po, sa mga narco-politicians, sa mga nasa droga, kahit na sabihin na kaibigan namin kayo ni Pangulong Duterte, mas delikado po kung lumalapit kayo sa amin. Basta sangkot kayo sa ilegal na droga mas delikado ang buhay ninyo,” Go said.
The former SAP made the statement after dismissed cop Eduardo Acierto, former deputy director for administration of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG), presented pictures showing him with businessman Michael Yang and Chinese national Allan Lim, who were allegedly involved in the drug trade.
“Alam nyo sa totoo lang maraming nagpapapicture sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte. Rehashed issue po yan. Sinagot na po ng mahal na Pangulo yung issue kay Michael Yang. So hindi po naman natin maiiwasan na maraming magpapa picture sa amin, mga kaibigan, mga negosyante po,” Go said. Speaking at the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) at Koronadal City, President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed Acierto’s allegations and disclosed that the dismissed police officer had been involved not only in the illegal drug trade but also in other illegal activities such as extortion and gun-running.
“At ang trabaho nitong si Acierto …iyong mga Chinese na magpunta dito investor, alam na may pera, hinuhuli nila, ikukulong sa isang lugar tapos manghingi ng ransom kasi daw nahuli na may drugs,” President Duterte said.
He said the hapless victims had no choice but to pay up since they could be imprisoned without bail if they were slapped with drug charges.
President Duterte said the group of Acierto was also involved in the killing of South Korean Jee Ick Joo that triggered widespread indignation.
“Yung Koreano na pinatay sa Crame, yan si Acierto…..they were the ones who killed that Korean,” the President added.
Likewise, Go said Acierto was the broker who imported 1,000 pieces of AK-47 rifles that eventually ended up in the hands of communist rebels, New People’s Army.
It was also Acierto’s group, according to Duterte, who set up former drug-buster, Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino and implicated the latter for alleged involvement in drug syndicates. The Department of Justice eventually dropped the charges against Marcelino.
Meanwhile, Go said that during Duterte’s tenure as Davao City Mayor, the latter always welcomed businessmen and investors who intended to start their business in the city for as long as their business is clean.
“Sinusuportahan naman po ni Pangulong Duterte lahat ng negosyanteng pumapasok sa Davao City basta legal ang kanilang mga negosyo. Subalit pag kahit kaibigan ka niya pag pumasok ka sa droga, mas delikado ka,” Go stressed.
In his speech, Duterte said he recalled meeting Yang who was introduced to him in Davao in 1999.
“Yang came here sa Davao in 1999, sabi niya magnegosyo siya. I distinctly remember, I said: You can come here, do legal business but don’t do drugs because I will bury you alive,” Duterte noted.
He said Yang started by opening a small appliance and gadget store in Davao City and eventually became owner of the DCLA Mall. He also pointed out that Yang is frequently in the company of the Chinese ambassador and part of the entourage of the Chinese Premiere when the latter visited the country.
For his part, Go admitted that he knows Yang but he said he does not know Lim.
“Si Michael Yang matagal na naming kilala ni then Mayor Duterte sa Davao ‘yan. May negosyo po siya doon (sa Davao). May mall po siya at alam po namin na legal ang kanyang negosyo,” said Go.
Meanwhile, Go also questioned the timing of Acierto’s allegations, noting the dismissed police officer came out with his accusations with less than two months before the May 13, 2019 elections.
However, Go said the picture with Yang and Lim does not prove anything because in the course of his public life, and now as a senatorial candidate, it is but natural for many people to ask for a picture with him.
“Hindi ko po naman maiiwasan na maraming nagpapa-picture sa akin. Hindi ko naman po pinipili lahat ng nagpapa-picture sa akin, lalong-lalo na po na isa akong kandidato ngayon,” Go explained.