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.