Sacked PDEA official fails to get allies in Senate

Senators on Monday doubted the testimony of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) official who claimed to have been wrongfully ousted from his post.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Gregorio Honasan and Miriam Defensor-Santiago said as a presidential appointee, former PDEA deputy director general Carlos Gadapan has no right to contest his removal from office.

"Ang mahalaga rito ay ‘yung presidential prerogative. You are appointed by the President, you are removed by the President, and he does not have to explain to you," Honasan said in an interview after Monday's investigation on the issue.

"If it's in the prerogative of the President, wala ka na magagawa talaga.

Even without trust and confidence talagang prerogative ng Presidente ‘yun kung papalitan ka," said Sotto, who initiated the investigation, in a separate interview.

During the day's inquiry, Santiago pointed out that Gadapan may have publicly complained about his removal from office due to anger.

"Nagalit ka lang talaga dahil tinanggal ka. Ngayon nakakabigla ‘yan dahil pag tinanggal ang tao hindi siya dapat magrereklamo kung siya ay presidential appointee because we all who have been presidential appointees realize fully that you were serving at the pleasure of the President," she told Gadapan.

Different forum

Senators said Gadapan should have sought a different forum to air his grievances instead of going to the media.

"Unfair ‘yung inuna nilang magsalita in public instead of the proper mechanisms or forum," said Honasan.

Gadapan claimed he was removed from office because of his actions informing PDEA director general Jose Gutierrez about his (Gutierrez’s) wife’s gambling problems.

Gutierrez, during Monday’s hearing, denied this and said Gadapan was removed from office for several reasons, including being a "security risk."

Whose gambling problem?

Gadapan, however, said he has proof that Gutierrez's wife has been using her husband's name and the PDEA to get loans.

"According to the informant... laging sinasabi po ni [Mrs. Gutierrez], anyway bahala na diyan si DG [director general]," he said, adding that she’s been introducing herself as the wife of PDEA director general.

But Santiago said there's nothing wrong with giving character references. "That is not a crime," she said, adding it was natural for Mrs. Gutierrez to incur debts as she has a flower shop business.

She also said Mrs. Gutierrez’s supposed gambling problem — assuming she has one — does not concern the agency.

"Let's just assume that she has a bad gambling habit, ‘yun naman ay pribado sa kanila. There is no national interest involved kaya lang pilit mo tinatie-up sa PDEA," Santiago told Gadapan.

Visits to casino

Santiago also questioned Gadapan why he himself was spotted in a casino as shown in some videos circulating on the Internet.

Gadapan said he only goes to specific casinos at least twice a month to meet informants regarding the surveillance of laundered drug money.

"I'm just meeting some people there," he said — an answer that failed to satisfy the feisty Santiago.

"Really?” Santiago said. “Why don't you meet them somewhere else? Why do you have to meet them in the casino and blow your cover?"

"Ito lang ‘yung time na nandun sila," Gadapan answered.

“More fiction than fact”

To this Santiago said: "I am a former RTC (regional trial court) judge, I'm also a creative literature writer. It seems to me that what you're telling is more fiction than fact."

Even Sotto, who initiated the investigation on Gapadan's removal, said Santiago raised some valid points.

"It was not very clear, the answers were not clear.

Parang medyo disappointing to a certain extent.

Hindi masyadong na-eksplika hindi na-back-upan ng ebidensya ‘yung mga alegasyon," he said.

"Siguro sa isang banda mabuti na rin ‘yung ganun sapagkat at least in my opinion nabawasan ‘yung gasgas ng PDEA. Hindi pala tama ‘yung mabibigat na alegasyon against the PDEA itself," added Sotto. — KBK, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

  • Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative
    Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative

    Negotiations to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade zone are in the "end-game", US Trade Representative Mike Froman said Sunday. Asked about a timetable, Froman said: "We agreed to conclude (the TPP talks) the moment that we have an agreement on an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement." "The focus will now shift to the US House of Representatives when they come back from recess and we look forward to working with them to get it passed as soon as possible," he …

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options