MANIILA, Philippines - Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. and former presidential son Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo is keeping his distance from allegations that a vehicle assigned to his former chief of staff was later used by an American drug dealer to transport shabu.
Arroyo said his former chief of staff, Atty. Antonio Mariano Almeda, should answer allegations about the Mitsubishi Pajero that ended up being used by American Brian Hill, who is accused of selling illegal drugs.
The National Power Corporation (NPC) has said it loaned the vehicle to Almeda when Arroyo was still chairman of the House of Representatives energy committee. Almeda said he needed the vehicle to inspect NPC's decommissioned power plants in Luzon and in some parts of Eastern Visayas.
The NPC later tried to recover the vehicle from Almeda twice in 2010 and once last year. It even filed a formal complaint before the Highway Patrol Group of the Philippine National Police on May 6, 2011 in an attempt to secure a hold order or recall of the Pajero.
Arroyo’s lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, also said Arroyo ordered the vehicle returned after Mikey's chairmanship of the energy committee ended in 2010.
On Tuesday, some P50 million worth of shabu was seized inside the Pajero and Hill’s condominium unit at The Columns Ayala Avenue at the corner of Ayala and Gil Puyat Avenues.
Operatives of the Philippine National Police–Anti Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF) said Hill is allegedly a member of an international drug syndicate.