DOJ denies Chinese nationals more time to answer drug-bust charges

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2017 05:32 PM

NBI agents and chemists make an inventory of the shabu seized at Mangga Street in Little Baguio, San Juan City on Friday. ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Three Chinese nationals charged in connection with two anti-drug raids last December 23 in San Juan City have lost their chance to present their defense after the Department of Justice (DOJ) denied their plea for another extension to file their counter-affidavits.

The raids yielded more than 500 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride ("shabu").

Shi Gui Xiong a.k.a. "Xiong," 44 years old; Che Wen De a.k.a. "Jacky Tan," 44 years old; Wu Li Yong a.k.a. David Go, 44 years old, asked for a second extension after they failed to submit their counter-affidavits during last Tuesday's hearing.

Assistant state prosecutors Mary Jane Sytat and Ethel Rhea Suril, however, denied the motion, insisting that under the rules they only had 15 days to resolve the case since it arose from an inquest proceeding. The prosecutors ruled to declare the case submitted for resolution.

Along with Filipinos Abdullah Mahmod Jahmal, 33 years old; Salim Cocodao Arafat, 19 years old; and Basher Tawaki Jamal, 19 years old, the foreigners face charges for manufacturing, trading, delivering, distributing, possessing, and transporting dangerous drugs, all violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, in a complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The complaint states that the Chinese nationals were caught with 529 grams of "shabu" in two separate raids at 309 Mangga Street, Little Baguio and 24 A. Bonifacio Street.

The Filipino respondents were charged in connection with an interdiction operation in front of a fast food outlet on Missouri corner Annapolis Streets, that yielded 101.373 grams of "shabu."

Meanwhile, Arafat was given up to Monday to submit his birth certificate certified by the National Statistics Office to support his claim that he is only 16 years old not 19, and thus cannot be prosecuted as a minor.

The raids were part of the NBI's Operation: Red Dragon against a drug syndicate producing billions in pesos worth of "shabu."