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Aaron Aquino still with PDEA

 

By ARGYLL GEDUCOS

 

THE Presidential Communi­cations Operations Office said yesterday that Director General Aaron Aquino did not resign and is still with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Aquino reportedly went on leave amid the controversial re­port from the PDEA that a ship­ment of shabu worth R6.8 billion was able to slip past the coun­try’s ports and now being sold on the streets.

During the #RealNumbersPH press briefing in Malacañang, PCOO Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag categorically said that Aquino did not resign from his post. “No. That is categorical,” she said.

The #RealNumbersPH is a program of the Duterte admin­istration which aims to inform the public on the data or figures related to the government’s war against illegal drugs. A PDEA representative is usually pres­ent during these press briefings but no one from the agency was present.

Banaag explained that Aquino filed his leave before the dis­covery of the magnetic lifters in Cavite. “He filed a leave prior to this week for a vacation leave,” Banaag said.

“We had a meeting at the National Bureau of Investiga­tion two weeks ago, and then he already filed a leave for this week,” she added. “So we knew na wala siya this week so we did not hold the press briefing at the PDEA.”

The PDEA last week reported that R6.8-billion worth of shabu slipped past the Bureau of Cus­toms and contained inside empty magnetic lifters found in Cavite. The PDEA made the report after their drug-sniffing dogs found traces of narcotics in the mag­netic lifters.

However, a few days later, President Duterte said that the reports were purely speculative and said that the amount was just an assumption or estimate in case the magnetic lifters re­ally did contain illegal drugs.

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