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SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 – The sharing of sensitive and confidential intelligence information and operation about illegal drugs should be limited to top officials who are directly involved in the process to pinpoint accountability immediately.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said this on Friday after noting how valuable intelligence information on drug operations was shared irresponsibly with low-level intelligence personnel.

Barbers, chair of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said intelligence information, particularly those shared by other countries, must be kept in secrecy until after the anti-drug operations.

“We have to make sure that sensitive and verified intelligence information, especially those shared by foreign governments, must be handled with utmost care so it will not fall into the wrong hands,” he said.

Barbers noted that during Thursday’s joint public hearing of the House committees on dangerous drugs and good government, no less than Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Director General Aaron Aquino confirmed that Bureau of Customs Intelligence Agent Jimmy Guban, dismissed PNP Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto and PDEA Deputy Director General for Administration Ismael Fajardo had knowledge of the alleged P6.8-billion drug shipment containing four magnetic lifters of shabu that recently slipped past the BOC.

BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña has repeatedly insisted that his office did not receive the intelligence information on the shabu shipment which registered “negative” in the X-ray of the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Acierto was reportedly ordered dismissed from the service by the Office of the Ombudsman last month in connection with the irregular issuance of AK-47 rifles licenses from August 2011 to April 2013.

The Senate blue ribbon committee has ordered the detention of Guban in the Senate for lying. Barbers said the House committees will assume jurisdiction over Guban who was again cited in contempt for not also telling the truth once the Senate investigation on the subject is completed.

Guban admitted to having received P10,000 from Acierto who asked him to get SMYD Trading as a consignee-for-hire to accept the shipment.

The four magnetic lifters were found empty by the PDEA in Cavite City shortly after the recovery of more than P2 billion worth of shabu in the Port of Manila. The two drug shipments had the same addressee.

“It is very clear that the intelligence information was shared irresponsibly with people of questionable character or those who were not supposed to have it,” Barbers said.

“I hope the top leaders of the BOC, PDEA and the PNP will do something about this problem of leakage of intelligence information about illegal drugs,” he stressed. #