THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are investigating reports that a Philippine military captain is connected with the Chinese Mafia operating in the United States through an American lawmaker.
Malacañang on Friday said the AFP is already looking into reports that US State Senator Leland Yee, who has been arrested for firearms trafficking among others, attempted to smuggle guns from the Philippines through his local contact.
“There is no need for the directive. I spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala this morning and the AFP is already looking into that particular report. We have also been trying to get a name or at least more information about the alleged involvement of a supposed military officer,” said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte.
As of press time, however, the Palace official said nothing has turned up from the AFP.
“We trust that the AFP will get to the bottom of it,” she stressed.
Yee, a San Francisco democrat, and 25 others were named in a federal complaint for offenses related to their connection with the Chinese mafia.
The charges include firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire, drug distribution, trafficking contraband cigarettes, and honest services fraud.
The US lawmaker’s contact, said to be a military captain, “previously sold guns to individuals from Florida that were delivered through the Port of Cagayan de Oro.”
Charges against Yee and his cohorts are contained in a 137-page criminal complaint, which indicated that the former’s associate, 60-year-old Daly City resident Wilson Sy Lim, had access to Israeli assault weapons, which could be purchased through the Philippine military.
It was also alleged that the same “captain” supplied firearms to Muslim rebels in the Philippines.
To help identify Yee’s contact, Valte said she will instruct the DOJ, which supervises the Bureau of Immigration (BI), to get details of Yee’s travels to the Philippines.
“We will speak to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima primarily because the BI is under her and that can easily be checked. I understand that a particular date was mentioned – 2012,”