P6.4-B shabu ‘broker’s’ arraignment reset
Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - February 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Manila Regional Trial Court judge yesterday deferred the arraignment of broker Mark Taguba, accused of facilitating the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that passed through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and found its way to a warehouse in Valenzuela City last year.

Branch 46 Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa granted the motion of Taguba’s lawyers to defer the arraignment until Feb. 23.

Taguba, who was escorted by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation when he arrived at the court shortly before 9 a.m., was handcuffed and wearing a bulletproof vest.

Citing grave threats to his life, Taguba, through his counsel Raymond Fortun, filed a new appeal to allow him to be detained at the NBI.

Fortun stressed that detention in a regular city jail in Manila “poses greater risk to the life, safety and security” of his client, given the congestion in the jail and the nature of Taguba’s earlier testimony during the Senate inquiry into the case. 

Taguba has tagged several officials of the BOC in the money-making scheme, including former BOC commissioner and now Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator Nicanor Faeldon. 

Meanwhile, Montesa directed the NBI to explain why it should not be cited for contempt for not following her order to transfer Taguba to the Manila City Jail.

Montesa also ordered the NBI to bring Eirene Mae Tatad, the consignee of the confiscated shabu, to the Manila City Jail.

The court order the NBI to commit Taguba to the Manila City Jail last Feb. 2 but the suspect remained detained at the NBI.

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