Virac mega shabu lab case stays - Makati court

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 08 2019 04:58 PM

Virac mega shabu lab case stays - Makati court 1
Authorities swoop down on a facility allegedly capable of producing up to 1,000 kilos of shabu, worth P25 million every week in Barangay Palta Small in Virac, Catanduanes. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - A Makati court has junked a plea to dismiss the drug case against a Chinese national, a former National Bureau of Investigation official and several others over a busted mega shabu laboratory in Virac, Catanduanes.

The drug facility, the biggest discovered in the country so far, yielded 22.5 kilos of meth and some 359 kilos of ephedrine, both dangerous drugs, during a raid in Nov. 26, 2016. 

Chinese national Xian Xian Wang, who was charged with attempt or conspiracy to manufacture dangerous drugs, claimed the complaint merely recited conclusions of law. There were no factual allegations about his actions that would link him to the crime, he added. 

Criminal complaints filed in court should state the acts or omissions constituting the offense, as required by rules on criminal procedure. 

But Judge Selma Alaras of Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 63, in a 3-page order released to the media on Tuesday, said the allegations were clear and denied Wang's motion to quash information. 
 
“[T]he abovementioned Information clearly and accurately alleges the essential elements of the crime charged against accused Wang, that is, attempt or conspiracy to manufacture any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical," the order read. 

"There is no defect in the Information that would warrant any amendments thereto by the prosecution,” it added. 

Wang’s co-accused include lawyer Augusto Eric Isidoro, former chief of the National Bureau of Investigation anti-illegal drugs unit, as well as Pido Bonito, Paolo Uy, and Jayson Gonzales Uy.

The Uys face 3 other charges of drug possession and manufacture of dangerous drugs, along with 5 other accused.

ARREST WARRANT 

In the same order, Judge Alaras also denied Wang’s bid to recall the warrant of arrest issued against him by Virac RTC Judge Lelu Contreras.

The drug cases were originally filed in Virac but were transferred to Makati in June 2018 following a request from then-Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who cited the judge’s “impartiality” and “local political connections of the accused.”

“It is likewise worthy to note that when the Warrant of Arrest was issued by Judge Lelu P. Contreras, she has personally determined through the supporting documents presented by the prosecution that there was probable cause to issue the subject warrant of arrest against accused Wang, and there is no need to disturb the finding of an equally competent court,” the order said.