Sen. Gordon challenges ex-cop Acierto to prove allegations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 27, 2019   •   3706

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon challenged ex-cop Eduardo Acierto to prove his allegations linking presidential economic adviser Michael Yang and businessman Allan Lim in narcotics trade.

READ: Acierto releases matrix showing Michael Yang’s links to drug trade

Gordon clarified that he is not dismissing Acierto’s claims. His only challenge is for Acierto to prove his allegations.

“Patunayan nila okay lang iyon, tulungan pa natin iyan. Ayaw niya, ini-offer ko pa nga sa kaniya, para mawala ka diyan, para ma-save mo ang career mo, magsabi ka ng totoo. Humarap ka, hindi na nagpakita pagkatapos, (Prove it first, we might give them assistance. I even offered him help to save his career, as long as he tells the truth, but he didn’t want help. He did not show up afterwards)” he said.

Acierto sent copies of the intelligence report to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and other officials including Senator Gordon.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Michael Yang ‘no-show’ in Senate probe due to high blood pressure

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang was a ‘no-show’ during the continuation of the Senate probe on ‘overpriced’ medical supplies procured by the Department of Health (DOH).

Yang’s legal counsel Raymond Fortun on Monday (September 13) said that the doctor had advised Yang to take a rest after his blood pressure went up. Fortun also said he is prepared to submit a medical certificate as proof of Yang’s condition.

“His blood pressure had suddenly shot up. And for that reason, he was advised by his doctor to just stay home. Apparently, because of the proceedings, his health has been affected,” he said.

However, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairperson Senator Richard Gordon said the Senate Committee will not give Yang a free pass.

“He can appear, he is not under pressure there, he is in Davao where he is comfortable, he can bring his doctor if he will and we want to see him. You know that always occurs when somebody’s under investigation they come in a wheelchair, show they picture that they cannot appear,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation director, Lincoln Ong, is still under house arrest since he is still recovering from COVID-19.

The Senate probe was opened after the Commission on Audit (COA) reported the DOH’s transfer of P42 billion funds to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the procurement of face masks and face shields at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Senate panel to probe influx of foreign cash to PH on Thursday

Robie de Guzman   •   March 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, led by Senator Richard Gordon, is set to investigate on Thursday, March 5, the reported influx of billions of pesos-worth of foreign cash brought into the country by alleged organized syndicates.

Gordon, in a Senate session on Wednesday, revealed that from September 2019 to February 2020, $447 million or equivalent to P22.7 billion were brought into the country based on the report of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The sums of cash were allegedly carried by 47 individuals, mostly Chinese nationals, arriving in the Philippines from Hong Kong and Singapore.

Gordon said the large sums of cash were declared as investment and gambling funds.

The BOC earlier said that couriers of the money are able to escape detection because they are escorted by police, military or airport officials, based on their monitoring.

“Everyday, may pumapasok. Every other day, ‘yung taong nagpasok, meron na naman siya, three days later. So, talagang masusi ang trabaho,” Gordon said.

Under Philippine laws, any person is required to declare any amount exceeding $10,000 or its equivalent to other foreign currency being brought into or out of the country.

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier ordered the BOC to coordinate with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to investigate the matter.

The senator said Thursday’s hearing seeks to probe whether the influx of foreign cash into the country is linked to the operation of offshore gaming firms in the country which mostly employ Chinese nationals.

He added that Blue Ribbon panel also wants to know if these sums of money are being used in any illegal trade or activities.

Gordon said an invitation to attend the hearing has already been sent to officials from the AMLC, DOF, Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Immigration. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Senate panel recommends charges vs. ex-PNP Chief Albayalde, 13 ninja cops

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019

(L-R) Former PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde and Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Sen. Richard Gordon.

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee announced on Friday (October 18) the first part of its investigation on the agaw-bato scheme against alleged ninja cops.

In the 39-page committee report, the Senate panel noted some irregularities in the conduct of the buy-bust operation by the 13 involved cops in November 2013.

The committee said the buy bust team headed by Major Rodney Baloyo failed to account all illegal drugs seized from the operation.

The Senate panel said the involved policemen also took several kilos from what they had actually seized.

All of these circumstances, the panel said, violated the provision of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which face lifetime imprisonment apart from fines and dismissal from service.

The Committee also believes that former PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde benefited from the drug recycling scheme.

The report also cited Albayalde’s phone call to former CIDG Region 3 Deputy Director retired General Rudy Lacadin and PDEA chief Aaron Aquino to allegedly block the dismissal of the involved cops, was a clear violation of the law.

“Nakita ninyo talagang it’s a comedy of lies and errors. Hindi errors, sinasadya iyan,” said Blue Ribbon Committee chair Richard Gordon.

These findings prompted the committee in its report to recommend graft and corruption charges against Albayalde and the 13 cops.

“Lahat sila (All of them) – Albayalde, Baloyo, the other people in the group (who participated in the raid) are guilty. I’m not saying guilty of malfeasance. Mali ang ginawa nila (What they did was wrong,)” Gordon concluded. — MNP (with details from Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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