Duterte still trusts Lapeña despite NBI graft complaints
MANILA, Philippines – Embattled former Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Isidro Lapeña continues to enjoy President Rodrigo Duterte's trust despite the complaints filed against him by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over the smuggling of shabu.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo replied in the affirmative when he was asked on Monday, January 28, if Lapeña is still among the President's trusted men.
"Yes. He remains constitutionally presumed to be innocent," Panelo said during a Palace news briefing.
The spokesman was then asked what Duterte's basis is for continuing to trust Lapeña, who was appointed director general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) after his stint at the BOC.
"Because he (Duterte) knows him personally. He has worked with him and he trusts him," said Panelo.
Lapeña had served as Davao City police chief back when Duterte was still mayor of the southern city.
Lapeña is facing two complaints related to the multibillion-peso shabu smuggling mess.
One complaint is for the two magnetic lifters at the Manila International Container Port which yielded P2.4 billion worth of shabu, and another for the 4 lifters found in Cavite which supposedly contained P11 billion worth of shabu.
The former BOC chief is being charged for his failure to file a case against the consignees of the lifters. The complaints filed are for dereliction of duty, grave misconduct, and graft. – Rappler.com