PDEA exec goes on leave for family vacation

MANILA — Philippine Drug Enforcement AgencyPDEA exec goes on leave (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino on Friday clarified he has gone on leave for a family vacation and not because of the controversy on the alleged smuggling of PHP6.8-billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) into the country.

“My decision to take a leave was decided six months ago. I’m in the USA now with family for a vacation and class reunion (and will) be back on August 29,” Aquino said in text message sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He added that his leave of absence began on Aug. 15 and had nothing to do with recent events.

“Those (circulating) are fake news about my forced leave,” he noted.

Aquino has tasked PDEA Deputy Director General for Administration Ismael Fajardo Jr. to be the agency’s officer-in-charge.

The issue came after the recent discovery of four magnetic lifters that were allegedly used to smuggle shabu into the country.

Aquino earlier said PDEA had estimated that these four magnetic lifters contained approximately 1,000 kg. or a ton of shabu.

He said the seized equipment were similar to the confiscated magnetic lifters that contained about 500 kg. of illegal drugs at the Manila International Container Port in Manila last August 7.

Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña, however, said the four magnetic lifters have tested negative for any presence of dangerous drugs, based on laboratory test results. PNA-northboundasia.com