Sen. Richard Gordon said the charges should have been filed either by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) or the Department of Justice.
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Absence of raps vs individuals in shabu smuggling questioned
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee yesterday questioned the absence of criminal charges against individuals linked to the smuggling of two tons of illegal drugs at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in August.

Sen. Richard Gordon said the charges should have been filed either by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) or the Department of Justice.

“I don’t know why they are foot-dragging. If they don’t file the cases, these will be forgotten,” Gordon told reporters after the 20th committee hearing on Thursday.

Gordon insisted that former PDEA deputy director general Ismael Fajardo should be charged.

“There are testimonies. Former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban is already there,” Gordon added.

Guban earlier testified how the smuggling of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was facilitated by dismissed Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto and other  officials.

“That’s enough ground to put them under a case of violation of (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs law),” Gordon said. 

On Thursday, Gordon cited in contempt the four witnesses in the alleged smuggling of shabu.

Aside from Fajardo and Acierto, Gordon cited in contempt for their repeated failure to appear before the Senate committee hearing Marina Signapan, owner of a trading firm; Emily Loquingan, the common-law wife of a certain Chao Yue Wah alias KC Chan; Albert Chan or Tony Chan, who was said to be the conduit of international drug traffickers.

Gordon said the individuals could face arrest if they continue to ignore the Senate committee’s invitation.

“When they are cited in contempt and if they show up, we will issue the arrest order. I said they should be arrested already,” Gordon said.

During the hearing, Gordon showed a picture of Fajardo and Acierto with PDEA director general Aaron Aquino allegedly taken during Fajardo’s birthday party on Sept. 3, days after the alleged smuggling of shabu.

“That’s very damaging. After the drugs came out, the three of them are pictured together. I don’t know why that is so,” Gordon noted.

Gordon maintained that Aquino should explain his supposed close alliance with Fajardo and Acierto.

“For the PDEA director, it’s damaging. You consort with one who is allegedly selling guns and another is into drug smuggling. Why is he talking to them?” Gordon said.

Gordon wondered why Aquino has been giving interviews that the value of illegal drugs has gone down.

The senator renewed his call for Acierto to show up and tell all that he knows about his cohorts in the alleged smuggling.

Fajardo, who was Aquino’s deputy until his suspension in October, was working with Acierto and allegedly used PDEA resources in helping the Chinese nationals retrieve the shabu in Cavite, based on initial findings from the Senate committee.

Defamation

Former Customs commissioner and now Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director general Isidro Lapeña filed yesterday libel and slander cases against a customs collector who tagged him in the multibillion-peso shabu shipment. – Robertzon Ramirez, Evelyn Macairan

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SHABU SMUGGLING
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