PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has declassified and released a matrix of at least seven former and incumbent officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who were allegedly linked to the narcotics trade.
A “secret special report” identified retired Police Senior Superintendents Eduardo Acierto and Leonardo Suan; Police Superintendents Ismael Fajardo Jr. and Lorenzo Bacia; Police Inspectors Lito Pirote and Conrado Caragdag; and Senior Police Officer 4 Alejandro Gerardo Liwanag.
The report, dated September 12, said the officers were or are part of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and even the Bureau of Customs (BoC).
They have allegedly established networks with “different drug lords across the country and abroad.”
“The processes of restructuring organizational landscape within the PNP anti-drug unit [have] noble objectives. [H]owever, it was shrouded with the reality that it was merely aesthetics and technicalities on changing names and mandates of these differently-called organizations,” a copy of the report furnished by Duterte yesterday to Palace reporters read.
Acierto, who was listed on top of the matrix, was among the PNP’s anti-narcotics stalwarts who was dismissed from government service for various anomalies, based on the information provided to the media.
Acierto was also dubbed as the “mentor” of Fajardo, relieved PDEA director general for administration who was branded as a “recycler of drugs and fabricator of stories.”
“Acierto is regarded as among the senior officers of the PNP who spent most of his career in his anti-narcotics operations. However, he also earns the reputation of amassing wealth by recycling the drugs that they have confiscated and even earning substantial amount of money through extortion from apprehended suspects, especially Chinese nationals,” the report said.
“Together with Fajardo, Acierto has maintained connections with various narcotics financiers and manufacturers inside and outside the country, including those Chinese nationals who are incarcarated in different penitentiaries,” it added.
Fajardo allegedly keeps portions of the recovered drugs “for personal use and/or for reselling.”
The report also noted that Fajardo and “his group,” which include Acierto, Suan, Bacia, Pirote, Caragdag, and Liwanag, use the recovered drugs “to plant evidence or make a ‘scenario’ for accomplishment.”
“The practice of ‘recycling’ has been accepted among members of his groups (from SOU3, AIDG) for those practical justifications although in reality, they are simply using alibis to justify their greed for money and personal agenda,” it said.
The “group” apparently came from the PDEA’s Special Operation Units 3-Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (SOU3-AIDG).
Despite their alleged drug links, Fajardo and his group were awarded and rewarded by the PNP and the PDEA for the “scripted” operations, including the January 2016 Celadon Residence and June 2016 Parañaque cases.
Other supposedly anomalous operations were the Valenzuela and Binondo operations, which were conducted on January 12 and 15, 2016, respectively.
No buy-bust operations actually took place in Valenzuela and Binondo, based on the documents obtained from Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 78.
The report recommended an investigation and a thorough lifestyle check against Fajardo for allegedly violating several provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The “special report” involving the seven personalities was an outcome of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee’s hearing on September 11, 2018, during which BoC intelligence agent Jimmy Guban was cited for contempt for perjury and actual involvement in the illegal entry of P6.8-billion shabu from China.
The report from Duterte also confirmed that Guban, an intelligence officer of the BoC, has links to illegal drugs.
“Guban’s style is to try to impresss his boss/superior by providing accomplishments. He would present himself as a team player, raiding warehouses full of fireworks and ukay-ukay,” it said.
“His modus was to arrange with the owners the raid of their warehouses. The arrangement is for the owners to remove 75 percent or their goods, and leave the 25 percent to be caught by the BoC officials and shown off for media mileage. By doing these, he could both look good to his superior while at the same time forwarding his own agenda with the warehouse owners,” the report added.
The report suggested that Guban undergo further investigation and an in-depth lifestyle check.