Duterte 'trusts' Lapeña, Palace says after drug-smuggling raps filed

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2019 12:51 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte continues to trust former Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña despite facing criminal and administrative complaints over drug smuggling allegations, Malacanang said Monday.

Lapeña "remains constitutionally presumed to be innocent," and thus still enjoys the President’s trust, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

"He knows him personally. He has worked with him and he trusts him," Panelo told reporters.

Lapeña headed the Davao City Public Safety Command Center where the President served as mayor.

The National Bureau of Investigation charged Lapeña for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and administrative complaints of dereliction of duty and grave misconduct.

The charges stemmed from Lapeña's alleged failure to file complaints against the consignees, importers and brokers of 2 magnetic lifters that contained shabu at the Port of Manila and 4 other magnetic lifters that slipped past the BOC and were found empty in Cavite.

Under fire for failing to stop the drug shipments, Duterte transferred Lapeña to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.