PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said that dismissed Police Colonel Eduardo Acierto could be charged of high treason for selling to communist rebels firearms purchased by the government for its security forces.
“This Acierto was the police officer who purchased several units of AK-47 rifles, but he sold the firearms to the New People’s Army (NPA),” Duterte said in Cebuano during his speech at the campaign rally of his PDP-LABAN Party in Agusan del Norte.
“What Acierto did was high treason,” Duterte said, adding that he even “asked the police and the military ‘why is he still alive?’”
He said he couldn’t imagine that a police officer would sell firearms to the enemy.
“And now he has the gall to smear our family with black propaganda, and did not even spare my 14-year-old daughter who he accused of being a drug lord,” he added.
Earlier, a panel of prosecutors from the Department of Justice recommended the filing of drug importation charges against Acierto and seven others in connection with the massive shabu shipments found hidden in magnetic lifters last year.
In an April 8 resolution seen Wednesday, the panel recommended that Acierto, ex-Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) deputy chief Ismael Fajardo, and ex-Customs intelligence agent Jimmy Guban be charged in court with violation of Section 4 in relation to Sections 28 and 31 of the dangerous drugs law.
Acierto recently grabbed headlines when he claimed that Michael Yang, a former presidential adviser, was involved in the illegal drug trade. Duterte has vouched for Yang’s innocence.
He was dismissed from the service over his alleged involvement in the anomalous purchase of AK-47 rifles that were later found in the possession of the communist NPA.
The DoJ resolution stems from the panel’s preliminary investigation of complaints filed by the PDEA and the National Bureau of Investigation against more than 40 people in connection with the smuggling of billions of pesos worth of shabu into the Philippines last year.