Cops in 'Narco-list' cry foul

October 11, 2018

SENIOR Superintendent Eduardo P.  Acierto, the highest-ranked among the seven anti-narcotics officers named in the latest narco list released by President Duterte yesterday vehemently denied the charges against him and his men and said they are ready to face investigation and prove their accusers wrong.

“Una sa lahat, sinusuportahan ko ang laban kontra sa illegal na droga. Beinte-syeteng taon akong tapat na nanilbihan sa Pambansang Pulisya. Hanggang ngayon, patuloy ang krusada ko laban sa droga. May pamilya din ako, asawa at anak. Ayaw ko silang mapahamak gawa ng droga. Walang katotohanan ang lahat ng bintang sa akin. Nagmamalasakit ako sa bayan. Kakampi ako ng bawat Pilipino na gustong mawaksi ang droga at mahuli ang malalaking isda,” Acierto, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class 1989, said in a press statement.

Acierto and his group were accused of “inventing” stories about Chinese nationals involved in drugs in the country, the report fed to the President accusing him of corruption and having already created networks with different drug lords across the country and abroad.

Still appealing his dismissal from the police service for another case, Acierto expressed belief the truth will come out. “Sana may magsalita para sa katotohanan. What will happen now sa mga kaso ng tropa, sabihin nila lahat scripted?” he said.

Acierto was a former deputy of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force who was instrumental in a major operation which led to the arrest of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino and his Chinese companion inside a secret shabu laboratory in Sta. Cruz, Manila on January 21, 2016. Seized during the operation were nearly 77 kilograms of shabu worth nearly P400 million.

A former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Special Operations Service chief, Marcelino of PMA Class 1994 claimed he was on an undercover mission duly authorized by his superiors that time. However, the Palace and even his Armed Forces superiors including then AFP intelligence chief, now Department of Interior and Lcoal Government officer in charge Eduardo M. Año disowned him.

Marcelino was jailed for several months until he was ordered released from jail by a court which ruled in his favor. Last August, Marcelino’s Chinese companion identified as Yan Yi Shou alias ‘Randy’ and another Chinese companion were shot dead by still unidentified gunmen very near the Manila Police District headquarters.

On Wednesday, PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde ordered the cancellation of reassignment of the other active policemen in the list and ordered them returned to the PNP Personnel Holding Administrative Unit in Camp Crame so that they can easily be accounted for.

Senior Supt. Leonardo R. Suan, a PNP Academy Class 1987 member who also used to be assigned with the PNP-AIDSOTF, was supposed to be reassigned to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police Regional Office along with Supt. Lorenzo C. Bacia.

The others are Senior Inspector Lito T. Pirote of the Police Regional Office 3; Inspector Conrado H. Caragdag Jr. of the Cordillera Police Regional Office; and Senior Police Officer 4 Alejandro Gerardo R. Liwanag of the Police Regional Office 2 in Cagayan Valley.

After his stint with the PNP-AIDSOTF, Suan was assigned to the PRO12 in Central Mindanao before being transferred to the PRO8 in Easter Visayas region. He was recalled to Camp Crame early this year.

Bacia was transferred to the PRO5 in the Bicol region last year until he was sent to the ARMM police. Pirote, Caragdag and Liwanag were all previously assigned to the PNP Drug Enforcement Group before being distributed to different regions.

The 7th, retired Supt. Ismael G. Fajardo Jr., used to be the head of the National Capital Region Office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency before being promoted as its Deputy Director General for Administration. However, PDEA chair Director General Aaron N. Aquino kicked him out of the Agency after his name was mentioned in a recent Senate investigation.

As earlier reported by the Journal Group, these former PNP-AIDSOTF personnel helped smash some of the country’s biggest shabu laboratories and sent to jail many Chinese drug lords since their days with the now defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force—only Suan is not a PAOCTF member— up to the present time but they now face the biggest challenge of their lives: prove to the whole world that they are heroes and not villains when it comes to fighting the drug war.