14 witnesses to be presented vs Sinos in Aurora shabu case
- Manny Galvez () - February 15, 2007 - 12:00am
BALER, Aurora – The prosecution team in the celebrated drug case involving four detained Chinese nationals, who were charged in connection with the raid on a clandestine shabu laboratory in Dingalan town last August, will present no less than 14 witnesses in the trial even as the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here has set marathon hearings to speed up its resolution.

RTC Branch 66 Judge Armando Yanga told The STAR that the prosecution team, composed of Provincial Prosecutor Jesse Pimentel, Assistant Prosecutor Jonard Hernandez and Prosecutor Hypierabad Casar, is presenting the 14 witnesses as the court starts the conduct of weekly trials next week. The prosecution is expected to complete its presentation of witnesses by April 24.

Among the witnesses are members of the media and agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who personally witnessed the raid in Barangay Butas Na Bato, Dingalan last Aug. 30. The raid yielded 5.44 kilograms of metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu worth P120 million.

The raid led to the arrest of Sy Tho, Whang Tha Ti, Chin Na Chua and Chen Chien, who were charged with violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The four, who pleaded not guilty to the charges during their arraignment in December, are now detained at the provincial jail in Barangay Suklayin here.

Yanga said the number of witnesses is double the number of witnesses the defense will present when its turn to present in May. He said both parties have agreed to the holding of the weekly trial during the pre-trial hearing held last Jan. 18, which was highlighted by the marking of exhibits and the submission of the names of potential witnesses.

ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR JONARD HERNANDEZ AND PROSECUTOR HYPIERABAD CASAR BARANGAY BUTAS NA BATO BARANGAY SUKLAYIN CHIN NA CHUA AND CHEN CHIEN DINGALAN DRUGS ACT JUDGE ARMANDO YANGA NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR JESSE PIMENTEL
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