MANILA - Former Customs intelligence officer Jimmy Guban said Tuesday that he objected to the entry into the country of billions worth of shabu concealed inside magnetic lifters.
Guban, in a Senate inquiry on the issue, earlier admitted to finding a consignee for 4 magnetic lifters that slipped past Customs inspection despite allegedly containing P11 billion worth of drugs.
These lifters were eventually found empty at a warehouse in Cavite in August, just days after authorities found P4.3 billion worth of shabu inside similar containers at the Manila port.
During the resumption of the Senate probe, Guban reiterated that dismissed Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto was behind the drug shipment.
Guban, reading a sworn statement, said he tapped SMYD Trading as a consignee for the Cavite magnetic lifters, on the request of Acierto.
He said Acierto also asked him to verify if a certain importer, Vecaba Trading, is accredited by the Bureau of Customs.
When he told Acierto that Vecaba was not accredited, Guban said the former policeman asked him to help release the goods covered by a bill of lading where the firm is named as consignee.
He said he told Acierto that the goods can only be released if these are properly declared. Acierto, however, allegedly confided that the goods were actually illegal drugs.
"I declared to Col. Acierto that we from the Bureau of Customs would cause the apprehension of these drugs. This is my duty as government employee and as Customs intelligence officer," said Guban.
"Upon seeing my sincere will and intention to have these drugs apprehended, Col. Acierto committed to me that he would help in its apprehension by providing details of its apprehension."
With Acierto's "staggered or piecemeal" information, authorities found the first magnetic lifters at the Manila port, Guban said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, citing a "secret special report," ordered Guban's arrest last week, accusing him of facilitating the entry of illegal drugs and other goods into the country.
However, Senate Blue Ribbon chairperson Richard Gordon said Guban will remain in Senate custody until its investigation is completed.
During Tuesday's hearing, Gordon said the Senate turned over Guban to the Department of Justice after he was given witness protection.