Malacañang offers P10M for capture of Eduardo Acierto
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is offering P10 million for the capture of Eduardo Acierto, the ex-cop who claims President Rodrigo Duterte is protecting Chinese businessman Michael Yang despite intelligence alleging that he is involved in the drug trade.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed this amount to Rappler on Monday, April 29.
He said the Department of Justice (DOJ) had initially planned to make its own offer of a reward.
"DOJ was planning the same thing too, but the Palace offer is enough," he said.
"DOJ will instead focus on Acierto's coddlers and protectors," Guevarra added.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, said he still needs to "check" about the bounty offer.
As far as reward money from Malacañang is concerned, P10 million is a large amount. In 2017, Duterte offered P3 million for the capture of cops involved in illegal drugs and P2 million for cops who acted as gunmen of the Parojinog family in Ozamiz City. For the capture of Abu Sayyaf members behind a foiled terror attack in Bohol, he offered P1 million each.
And when it came to alleged drug lord Peter Lim, the DOJ offered only P500,000.
While on the run, Acierto held a press conference for select reporters where he showed documents that supposedly prove Duterte ignored intelligence reports on Yang's involvement in the illegal drug trade. Acierto had previously claimed there was a P15-million bounty on his head.
Yang used to be Duterte's presidential adviser on economic affairs, despite the President denying this because Yang is a foreigner.
After Duterte saw the intel report about Yang, he publicly accused Acierto of corruption and of providing guns to communists. He also publicly cleared Yang, citing Yang's friendship with Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua as supposed proof of the Chinese businessman's innocence.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is hunting down Acierto, tapping the powerful Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for the effort. The former cop was ordered arrested by a Manila court for his alleged involvement in the importation of shabu in 2018.
In a public outburst, Duterte had asked the PNP and the military why Acierto remains alive. – Rappler.com