PDEA says drug queen, daughter receiving calls from top gov’t execs

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Correctional Institution for Women inmate inmate Yu Yuk Lai (left) and her daughter Diana Yu, and some of the drugs seized during Monday's operations. (photos by Non Alquitran and Kriz John Rosales, PhilStar)

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director Aaron Aquino on Wednesday revealed that convicted “drug queen” Yu Yuk Lai and her daughter Diane Uy had been receiving calls from officials holding high positions in government since their detention.

Meron po kaming nare-receive na may mga tumatawag kay Yu Yuk Lai at kay Diane na matataas na opisyal. At hindi ko alam kung ano ang conversation. Pero mabibigat po ang conversation nila,” Aquino said in an interview with DZRH radio.

[We have been receiving information that officials with high positions are calling Yu Yuk Lai and Diane. I do not know what their conversation was about. But the topics of their conversation were serious.]

About P15 million worth of crystal meth or shabu was seized by government agents from Yu and Uy earlier this week at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City and at a condominium just nearby MalacaƱang.

The PDEA chief did not name the government officials allegedly calling up Yu and Uy.

Aquino said Diane Uy herself was very influential, especially among the wealthy.

“Very influential po kasi si Diane. Ito po ay isang mayaman na babae so marami pong nakakakilala sa kanya [Diane is very influential. This is a rich woman, so many know her], especially upper level ng societies,” he said.

Aquino also revealed that Yu had offered P5 million to PDEA agents twice last Monday in exchange for her freedom.

Kinukulit kami kung p’wede magbayad siya ng P5 million kapalit ng kanyang kalayaan. [She was badgering us if she could pay P5 million in exchange for freedom],” he said.

Based on PDEA’s surveillance, Aquino said Uy had allagedly smuggled the illegal drug inside the women’s prison in Mandaluyong City.

She was also allegedly tasked to conduct the illegal drug trading business while her mother was detained in Mandaluyong City.

Aquino also revealed that Yu had transacted with some drug lords inside the national penitentiary.

“This Yu Yuk Lai, the drug queen, is linked to three or four drug lords sa National Bilibid Prison,” he said.

A case will also be filed against the recently removed CIW director Elsa Alabado for dereliction of duty, according to the PDEA chief.

Aquino also mentioned that PDEA is set to open an office at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to establish 24-hour visibility in prisons where illegal drug trading existed.

Para mahinto na ang transakyon ng illegal na droga d’yan sa loob. Siguro napapanahon naman na siguro dapat ihinto na. Kung sino pa ang nakakulong, sila pa nagma-man sila pa nag-o-operate. [So illegal drug transactions will be stopped inside (prisons). I think it’s time it should be stopped. The person detained is the one operating],” he said.