PNP refuses to admit Customs fixer in Custodial Center

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2018 04:03 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2018 08:41 PM

Customs fixer Mark Taguba, who previously linked the so-called Davao Group to the P6.4 billion shabu shipment, cannot be detained in the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame as the facility is only for "high-risk and high-profile" detainees, a police official said Wednesday.

Taguba was supposed to be transferred to the PNP Custodial Center from the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters, Tuesday, but was refused entry to the police headquarters. Taguba was among those tagged in the shipment of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China.

A 2010 circular issued by the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court (OCA circular No. 76-2010) refrained courts from issuing orders to commit detainees to the PNP Custodial Center, "considering that the Center has temporarily discontinued admission and acceptance of detention prisoners within its facility," PNP Spokesperson Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao.

"It is for internal use only. Pero may mga instances na nag-aadmit ang PNP ng detention prisoners dito sa Crame kung ang detention prisoners ay high-risk and high-profile tulad ng mga senators na kailangan talaga ng protection nila habang sila ay nakakulong,” he said.

Among those currently detained in the PNP Custodial Center are Senator Leila de Lima and former senator Bong Revilla. Former senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada used to be detained at the facility inside the police headquarters before the Sandiganbayan granted their request for bail.

Bulalacao said Taguba should be detained in a facility in Manila where his case is being heard.

"It would be better that he will be near the court na kung saan siya hini-hear. Unlike Senator De Lima, Senator Revilla, their cases are being heard here in Quezon City. So it is practical and convenient for the security troops to put these senators here in Camp Crame,” Bulalacao said.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has its maximum security facility where Taguba can be detained, he said.