Manila court orders arrest of former cop Acierto for allegedly importing drugs

A Manila court has ordered the arrest of former cop Eduardo Acierto, the man who accused President Rodrigo Duterte’s former economic adviser Michael Yang of being involved in the illegal drug trade.

Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 35 issued the arrest warrant against Acierto and several other personalities for allegedly masterminding the importation of millions of pesos worth of shabu (meth) which arrived in the country in 2018.

The arrest warrant was dated April 12, reported ABS-CBN News, but it was only made public today.

Other than Acierto, the court also ordered the arrest of former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) deputy chief Ismael Fajardo, Jr., and former Bureau of Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban.

Their case stems from the discovery of two magnetic lifters in August 2018 at the Port of Manila which contained shabu worth PHP2.4 billion (US$45.950 million), reported Philippine Star. A few days later, authorities also discovered four similar-looking lifters at a warehouse in Cavite which were empty but were believed to have been used to smuggle drugs.

Guban said at a Senate hearing in October 2018 that it was Acierto who allegedly masterminded the release of all the lifters from the port. Acierto allegedly asked for his help to pull out the lifters from the port and move them to Cavite, Rappler reported.

When the four lifters were brought to a warehouse in Cavite, Acierto allegedly paid Guban a fee for working as the shipment’s facilitator.

Acierto allegedly asked for Guban’s help in releasing the remaining lifters at the Port of Manila which the cop allegedly said contained shabu, according to the latter’s testimony. Guban told Acierto that as an officer of the BOC, his team had to intercept the shabu-containing lifters. When Guban saw the abandoned lifters at the port, he noticed that they look similar to the ones he sent to the warehouse in Cavite.

Guban said at the Senate hearings that he and Acierto allegedly told Fajardo about the existence of the containers with shabu. Fajardo was later sacked because he didn’t pass on the information to his superior at the PDEA, Director General Aaron Aquino.

For his part, Acierto didn’t attend any of the Senate hearings to air his side of the controversy.

Early this month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Guban, Acierto, and Fajardo for alleged drug importation. The case was filed at the DOJ by the National Bureau of Investigation in January.

Acierto emerged from hiding in March to divulge to the media that Yang, Duterte’s former advisor had alleged links to the illegal drug trade. However, Duterte said that the public shouldn’t believe Acierto’s accusations and that the former cop was just being used by the opposition Liberal Party.

This article, Manila court orders arrest of former cop Acierto for allegedly importing drugs, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!