Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency suffers big setback

October 28, 2018
Aaron B. Aquino

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has strongly condemned the acquittal from drug charges of a daughter of jailed convicted drug queen Yu Yuk Lai by a Manila court last Thursday and said it would appeal the controversial decision which dealt a major blow to the government’s war on drugs.

The PDEA headed by Director General Aaron B. Aquino received the official copy of the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 49 penned by Presiding Judge Daniel Villanueva acquitting Dianne Uy Yu.

“The acquittal was premised on the supposed lack of probable cause in the issuance of the search warrant against Yu and the supposed irregularities made by PDEA agents in the service and implementation of the warrant,” said Aquino.

He also scored Judge Villanueva who even went on to conclude that the dangerous drugs found in the unit maintained and owned by Yu were “planted” and PDEA agents solicited and took a P500,000.00 bribe from the suspect.

“PDEA strongly disagrees with the Decision and condemns the same. Based on the perusal of PDEA, the Decision is more like a pleading arguing in favor of the accused rather than a ruling that resulted from a fair, impartial, and careful trial and deliberation,”  Aquino said.

“What bothers PDEA most is the language by which the Decision was written, which clearly has no factual and legal basis,” he lamented.

To recall, Aquino said that the apprehension of Yu was by virtue and authority of a search warrant issued by Acting Executive Judge Angeline Mary Quimpo-Sale of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, who was also conveniently lambasted in the Decision by Judge Villanueva.

“Likewise, the operation that resulted in the apprehension of Yu was a result of valid and carefullly thought and planned casing and surveillance operations tediously made by PDEA agents, who were, also, lambasted by Judge Villanueva in the Decision and are being incriminated for supposedly planting the evidence seized from Yu and accepted a bribe from her,” the retired police general said.

“PDEA never planted drugs or evidence against anyone. It is never a practice in the Agency,” he stressed.

According to Aquino, the  decision came as a surprise to PDEA as the supposed date for the promulgation of the Decision was originally meant for a hearing set for the continuation of the presentation of additional or rebuttal evidence for the prosecution.

“The Agency will not take this absurdity sitting down.  The Agency is now assessing and evaluating the pieces of evidence available against Yu and will pursue the necessary course of action or remedy against the Decision such as filing of Petition for Certiorari, under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court on the ground of grave of abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,” he said.

The Agency is also looking into the circumstances that led to the premature and hasty decision of the case and will proceed against the responsible and accountable public officers, Aquino said.