MANILA: The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) filed criminal complaints before the Department of Justice against individuals, including former PDEA and Philippine National Police (PNP) officials, for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of magnetic lifters that were found to contain billions of pesos worth of illegal drugs at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) last August.
Facing a complaint for violation of Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs) Section 5 in relation to Section 26 (Attempt or Conspiracy), Section 32 (Liability to a Person Violating any Regulation Issued by the Board) in relation to Section 30 (Criminal Liability of Officers), Section 3 (ee), PD 1829, Section 1(c) Obstruction of Justice; The Revised Penal Code, Art. 208; Republic Act No.3019, Section 3(E), are former Senior Supt. Eduardo Paderon Acierto, former PDEA Deputy Director General for Administration Ismael Gonzales Fajardo Jr., former Customs Intelligence Agent Jimmy Guban, Police Insp. Lito Pirote, and Joseph Dimayuga, as principals.
Appropriate charges were also filed against Chan Yee Wah, Emily Daprosa Luquingan, Vedastro Cabral Baraquel Jr., Maria Lagrimas Abelgas Catipan, Alex B. Padlan, Zhauq Quan/Zhang Quan, Gorgonio V. Necessario, Myra C. Tan, Terence L. Uytingban, Avelino S. Tendera, and entities SN Logistics and Ben Line Agencies Philippines for the magnetic lifters found at the MICP.
PDEA also filed cases against He Zhong Consultancy Co. Inc. (Nonito Estorninos Jr.,Li Jie); Red Day Machinery Parts Corp. (Ramon Tuyay, John Leric Olavario, Maribeth Olavario, Minerva Verso, and Chung-Chun Hsu); Yida Equipment Crane Limited Company (Le Thi Thuy, Luu Thi Thu Huong, Kan Yi Hong); Dong Trieu Trading and Import/Export Service Trading Company Limited (Du Quoc Duong); Chen Wei Cheng, Ping Cheung Fung, Roy Wang, John Doe, Leynard Doe, All Systems Logistic Inc. (Roy Baldon); SMYD Trading (Marina de la Cruz Signapan, Alexander Dames, Katrina Cuasay, Miguella Santos, as real owner), lawyer Zsae Carrie de Guzman, Head, X-Ray Inspection Project; Benjamin Cajucom, Shift Supervisor, X-Ray Inspection Project; Manuel Martinez, Operator, X-Ray Inspection Project; Dolores Domingo, Appraiser; Chinese No.2 alias Zhou Quan; Chinese No.3 Chen Wei Cheng; Chinese No.4 alias Cory Yibos; Chinese No. 6 alias Francis Doe; Chinese No. 12 alias Glenn Doe; Eric Doe; and Bong Doe, for their involvement in the magnetic lifters found in General Mariano Alvarez (GMA), Cavite.
The filing of cases by PDEA against these personalities stemmed from the various hearings of both the House of Representatives and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee where the names of several Chinese personalities, corporate entities, and high-profile government officers were revealed, including a ranking PDEA officer.
PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the agency is convinced that after a thorough investigation, these personalities may be held liable for the violations.
“This is to inform the public that PDEA is serious to come up with airtight cases against all personalities behind illegal drug transactions,” Aquino said.
A day after the discovery of illegal drugs in MICP in August, similar magnetic lifters were found abandoned at a warehouse in Unit 4, Lot 1-8, CRS Subdivision, Barangay F. Reyes, GMA, Cavite that were believed to have contained illegal drugs weighing about 1,618 kg. and estimated market value of at least PHP6.8 billion.
The illegal drugs in the magnetic lifters were believed to be one of the largest seizures of shabu by the Philippine government and was believed to have been already circulating in the country.
Aquino revealed that after Thursday’s filing of the case, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will also file cases in the coming days.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the NBI to conduct a parallel probe, in connection with the recent discovery of four magnetic lifters used in shabu smuggling in Cavite.
Guevarra said he has directed NBI director Dante Gierran to form a team of agents to investigate and determine how the contraband, reportedly contained in the seized magnetic lifters in Cavite, was successfully smuggled.
In his order, Guevarra specifically directed the NBI to trace how the latest shabu shipment was able to pass through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and identify the officials and personalities responsible for it.
If warranted, the NBI will file charges against those who will be found criminally liable for the drug smuggling.
According to Aquino, Fajardo reportedly went into hiding after being accused of involvement in the multi-billion-peso smuggling case being probed by Congress.
“Well, the last time that I talked to him (Fajardo) is a month or two months ago and then he resigned from PDEA effective Nov. 30 this year. And then, he was implicated in magnetic lifters maybe a week after that, he filed a leave and his leave continues,” the PDEA Chief said.
Aquino said he asked Fajardo to attend the probe, but the latter didn’t pick up his calls.
“I think last month, nagbago na rin siya ng (he changed his) cellphone number so nobody knows exactly. We are trying to ask his son and the wife but ang sabi sa PDEA, hindi daw nila kung alam kung nasaan si Fajardo (but according to what I heard in PDEA, they don’t know where Fajardo is),” Aquino said. (PNA)