PDEA chief Aquino: We're still investigating Michael Yang

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is still investigating former presidential adviser Michael Yang, said Director General Aaron Aquino on Monday, April 8.

In a statement, Aquino dispelled reported accusations of dismissed veteran anti-drug cop Eduardo Acierto that the PDEA chief was a "protector" of Yang. (READ: Ex-cop Acierto speaks out: Duterte, PNP ignored intel on Michael Yang's drug links)

"How can he say I am a protector when I initiated investigations on Michael Yang activities from Day 1 that I was told about it? In fact, until now, my regional directors are still gathering data about Michael Yang," Aquino said in a statement.

Acierto has been accusing the Duterte administration of coming after him and protecting Yang. The former cop bared intelligence reports saying that the Chinese national had possible involvement in the drug trade in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown, Davao City.

"His accusation is completely baseless. I may say that this is the work of a desperate man," Aquino said.

Aquino, in fact, did bring Acierto's intelligence work up to Malacañang, but it cleared him through its own investigation.

Aside from the PDEA, the Philippine National Police is also still gathering information on Yang, as earlier announced by its chief, General Oscar Albayalde. (READ: Gordon calls on PNP, PDEA to arrest ex-cop Acierto– Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.