Friday, September 24, 2021

Duterte questions Senate over ex-cop's report

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, questioned the Senate blue ribbon committee's decision to allow a dismissed policeman to be a resource person in its investigation into the deficiencies in the use of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response funds of the Department of Health (DOH).

"I am surprised that one of the resource persons, the tragedy is that you are listening to him? And I do not understand why the Senate is listening to the person of Acierto,” Duterte said in his public address aired Tuesday morning.

He was referring to Eduardo Acierto, former head of the defunct anti-drug unit of the Philippine National Police. Acierto made a report in 2019 which implicated Duterte and former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang in the illegal drugs trade.

“Acierto was dismissed by the Ombudsman twice, first for his role.. in his role in the obvious P100 million deal with Werfast. For this was later reversed, he was finally dismissed for his role in the importation and selling of more than 1,000 AK-47 to the NPA rebels,” Duterte said.

Werfast Documentation Agency Inc. had bagged a P100-million anomalous contract to provide courier services for the renewal of firearms licenses.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Wilkins Villanueva, who attended the meeting with Duterte, cleared Yang of allegations.

"Kahit hagilapin mo sa lahat ‘yan, sir, walang Michael Yang d’yan," Villanueva said, after presenting a report on the dismantling of a huge clandestine illegal drugs laboratory in Davao City in 2004.

“Nothing in all this case operation plan that Michael Yang came up as part of the personalities (involved in the clandestine laboratory operation),” he added.

On September 10, senators grilled Yang over his links to a certain Allan Lim who was seen in a photo together with Duterte and Yang.

Lim is said to be the same person as Lin Wei Xiong and Wen Li Chen who was involved in “financing and facilitating the importation, transshipment, and local distribution of imported methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and other illegal drugs and paraphernalia.”

He was criminally charged at the Cavite Regional Trial Court but the case was dismissed due to technicality in the observance of proper marking of evidence and chain of custody rule.

Yang said he only knew Lin, but not Lim. He also said he was not aware if they are the same person.

Yang has been linked to Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation, whose executives said Yang lent them P7.2 billion to finance the purchase of medical supplies that were delivered to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)


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