Ex-cop, PDEA exec in P11-B shabu controversy missing

Rambo Talabong
Ex-cop, PDEA exec in P11-B shabu controversy missing
Both have not been seen by their colleagues at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) deputy chief Ismael Fajardo and dismissed police colonel Eduardo Acierto are missing, Senator Richard Gordon said on Monday, December 3.

“Fajardo is at large, Acierto is at large,” Gordon said, as he led the Senate blue ribbon committee in probing the missing P11 billion worth of shabu (methamphetamine) suspected to have slipped past Customs.

The two are part of the so-called “triumvirate” of government law enforcers accused of facilitating multibillion shabu shipments. The third member is Bureau of Customs former intelligence officer Jimmy Guban, who has been admitted as a state witness.

Acierto has been accused of being behind two giant shabu shipments: the P2.4-billion shabu found inside abandoned magnetic lifters at the Manila International Container Port this year, and 2017’s P11-billion missing shabu suspected to have been brought to an abandoned Cavite warehouse before being taken to Philippines streets.

Fajardo, meanwhile, has been accused by Guban of having advance knowledge of the P2.4-billion shabu shipment without sharing it to his colleagues in the PDEA.

Fajardo went on leave from the PDEA after he was sacked as Congressional probes into the missing shabu moved forward.

Speaking to Rappler at the sidelines of the session hall, PDEA lead investigator Adrian Alvariño said they served a subpoena to the registered home of Fajardo, but only his wife appeared to receive the document.

Acierto was not found by the Philippine National Police in his registered home.

“We’ll find these people, sir,” PDEA chief Aaron Aquino said.

“You better,” said Gordon, who by the end of the probe stressed that PDEA should work harder as the country’s lead anti-drug agency.

Hold departure orders could not be issued against Fajardo and Acierto as there are still no criminal cases filed against them from the shabu controversy. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.