Political Tidbits is the prestigious column of Belinda Olivares-Cunanan that ran for 25 continuous years in the op-ed page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the newspaper that she helped put up with its multi-awarded founder, the legendary Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in December 1985, just two months before the EDSA Revolution.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

President Duterte has the prayers of entire Filipino people in war vs.drugs, but he has to get to the bottom of the allegation of ex-Police Senior Supt.& PMA class 1989 grad Eduardo Acierto that Davaoeños close to the President are involved in drug trade.

Former Police Senior Supt. & PMA class 1989 grad Eduardo Acierto denouncing alleged drug operatives in Davao. 

I laud President Duterte's candor in recently admitting that the drug problem in our country "has worsened." The prayers of all Filipinos should accompany the Chief Executive as he battles this horrible problem that's destroying the lives of many of our people, particularly the youth.

Having said that, I join all citizens who love our country and care for its future, in calling on Mr. Duterte to do far more than he is doing now to combat this menace in our midst. If he puts his whole effort into this fight against drugs---without fear or favor---he would have the support and prayers of all Filipinos, as we all don't want our country to become another Mexico or Colombia.


Putting his heart and soul into the battle vs. drugs could be something up close and personal for the President. Note for instance, the recent "true confession" of former Police Senior Superintendent Eduardo Acierto, member of PMA Class 1989, as published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last March 26.  Acierto claimed that he went into hiding after he was implicated in the smuggling of P11 billion worth of shabu into the country some two or three months ago---that was exposed by a brave and heroic woman customs official named Ma. Lourdes Mangaoang (whom Cecile Alvarez and I interviewed over our dzRH Sunday program).

The smuggled shabu was stuffed into four magnetic lifters that arrived in the Manila International Container Terminal and was subsequently spirited out to a Cavite warehouse by Chinese-looking persons riding in Mercedes Benzes. The incident was blasted all over media and resulted in the sacking of the MICT manager and his replacement by a new official.


Now along comes former Police Senior Supt. and PMAyer Eduardo Acierto, who was earlier dismissed from the service allegedly because of his having sold assault rifles to communist rebels. Acierto, speaking to an intimate media group as disclosed by the Inquirer, now claims that his life is in danger after he informed Malacanang that "two Chinese nationals close to President Duterte were involved in the narcotics trade."

 Acierto claimed that the two Chinese nationals whom he identified as Michael Yang, a wealthy businessman based in Davao City, who was reported to act as the President's economic adviser for a time, and a certain Allan Lim, are quite close to the President. Acierto alleged, however, that perhaps Mr. Duterte doesn't know about their illegal activities---such as their supposed involvement in "the operations of clandestine shabu laboratories in Davao and Cagayan de Oro and their connection with alleged Chinese drug lord Johnson Chua."


The complication lies in that Mr. Duterte, as reported in the Inquirer, in a meeting with members of the PMA Alumni Association Inc.,cleared Michael Yang, stressing that the latter is close to Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua--- so that the envoy even sleeps in Yang's residence whenever he comes to Davao. In fact, noted Mr. Duterte, Michael Yang was a member of the entourage of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang when the latter visited Manila last year.

Obviously President Duterte does not believe Acierto's story regarding the alleged involvement of Yang in drugs---even after the ex-police and PMAyer claimed that Yang and Lim allegedly received P50,000 per kilogram each as their share for facilitating the smuggling of P11B worth of shabu into the country.via the MICT.  Acierto also claimed that the "Davao group" has put up a P15-million reward to kill him.


It's a tight fix for the former PMAyer '89, as apparently the President does not believe his claims either about the alleged involvement of the two Chinese nationals in the MICT shabu smuggling two months ago---nor Acierto's story about the bounty on his head by the "Davao Group."

The Inquirer story whereby Acierto links the "Davao Group" to drug smuggling is staggering---particularly since the Chinese nationals named by Acierto are from Mr. Duterte's backyard and are apparently well-known to him. They also have their links to the Chinese ambassador and officialdom. 


Mr. Duterte, however, cannot afford to ignore ex-police officer Acierto's allegations as it's something that a man with the latter's background cannot afford to make---unless there is some truth to it. Moreover, the dramatis personae cited are from Mr. Duterte's territory.  

Indeed, as he claims, the drug problem in this country has worsened and his decisive moves to curtail it, perhaps right in his home-ground, are much awaited by an increasingly concerned citizenry---with loads of prayers for him and his efforts. 

Let's pray, too, for the safety and deliverance of former police officer Eduardo Acierto---may his guardian angel watch over him and his family.

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