Duterte not preempting probe result on possible drug entry, Palace says
resident Rodrigo Duterte was not preempting the result of the investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation on the alleged ton of shabu worth P6.8 billion that was smuggled in the country using magnetic lifters.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the probe would continue despite the earlier statement of the President he was not convinced that the recovered four magnetic filters in Cavite were filled with illegal drugs.
"It's not. It's just how lawyers are. Remember, the onus is on the person who alleges that there were. If there's no evidence other than (saying) that there's a possibility that (illegal drugs) entered the country, that's speculation," Roque said.
Roque said the President could have based his conclusion on the report magnetic lifters were negative of illegal drugs when they were tested.
"I'm sure he acted on information given to him also by the appropriate government agencies," he added.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino had said a huge volume of illegal drugs was able to slip into the country using the recovered empty magnetic lifters.
Aquino had said there could be connivance between drug syndicates and some Bureau of Customs officials or employees.
But Duterte, in a recent speech, told the government officials not to speculate as he was convinced that no such huge amount of drugs were contained in the empty magnetic lifters.
Aquino reportedly went on leave following Duterte's statement.
Roque could not confirm if the PDEA chief really went on leave and for what reason.
In a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun, PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said Aquino's leave, a personal one, "was planned many months ago." "It has nothing to do with the recent series of events, sir," added Carreon. Celerina Monte/DMS