MANILA - The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee cited businessman Richard Tan and Manny Li in contempt for lying during a hearing on the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that slipped through the Bureau of Customs at the port of Manila in May.
Tan, whose Chinese name is Richard Chen or Chen Ju Long, is the owner of Hong Fei Logistics. Li, meanwhile, served as his broker in the questioned shipment from China.
At the hearing, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Director Wilkins Villanueva pointed out that the two were inconsistent in their statements about a packing list for the shipment.
He said the shipment's original packing list where the illegal drugs were contained had 14 items when Tan gave it to Li. But when Li gave it to Kenneth Dong, an alleged middleman, only 5 items were left.
"The original packing list came from Mr. Chen (Tan) and he gave it to Mr. Manny. Then Manny, when he gave the packing list to Kenneth Dong, there were no more cylinders," stressed Villanueva, holding a paper that Li gave to Dong.
Sen. Vicente Sotto III then moved to hold the two in contempt until they are able to thresh out what really transpired during the transfer of the packing list.
"There's a motion to hold these two gentlemen in contempt. I hear no objections and I will pass it on to the Senate President for proper detention. So ordered," said Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard Gordon.
"Upon order by the Senate President, until they tell us the whole story, they shall continue to be held in contempt and be held here or in Pasay Jail, depende what is safe for them," he added.