PDEA files raps vs suspects in P11-B 'shabu' shipment

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 13 2018 11:33 AM | Updated as of Dec 13 2018 04:36 PM

PDEA files raps vs suspects in P11-B 'shabu' shipment 1

MANILA - (UPDATE) The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Thursday filed multiple criminal complaints against those who were allegedly involved in the shipment of P11-billion worth of "shabu" in the country last August.

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Named as principal respondents in the complaint filed with the Department of Justice are former PDEA Deputy Director General for Administration Ismael Fajardo, Jr., former Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group officer in charge Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto, former Customs intelligence agent Jimmy Guban, Police Inspector Lito Pirote, and Joseph Dimayuga.

Other Bureau of Customs officials named as respondents are lawyer Zsae Carrie De Guzman who is the head of the BOC’s X-ray Inspection Project, Benjamin Cajucom, Manuel Martinez, and Dolores Domingo.

More than 30 other individuals connected with several entities who made the shipments at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and in Cavite were also named as respondents.

They are facing complaints for importation and trading illegal drugs under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

Government officials named as respondents are also accused of obstruction of justice under Presidential Decree 1829, malicious abstention from filing a criminal complaint under the Revised Penal Code, and violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Former Customs Commission Isidro Lapeña was not included in the list of respondents since there was no evidence linking him to the drug shipment, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said.
“Inupuan ng legal team ko (Our legal team studied) and they reviewed everything and they gave their results to me and it was found out that he (Lapeña) has no direct link [to] these particular cases,” he told reporters shortly after filing the complaints.

Among the respondents, Fajardo is the highest-ranking government official tagged in the shabu shipment case. He was sacked in September. Aquino said they could no longer locate him as of now, as well as dismissed policeman Acierto and Dimayuga.
Aquino, however, noted that the PDEA would forward a copy of the complaints to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission to determine if administrative charges may be filed against Lapeña.

PDEA Director for Legal and Prosecution Services Czareanah Aquino meanwhile said they consider Guban a principal respondent and will not recommend his discharge as a state witness.

The Justice Department earlier admitted Guban into its witness protection program following the recommendation of Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Sen. Richard Gordon.

In August this year, joint forces of the BOC and the PDEA intercepted 355 kilos of shabu concealed in 2 magnetic lifters at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Three days later, PDEA discovered similar-looking magnetic lifters in GMA, Cavite following a lead from a tipster. These containers, however, were found empty.

The anti-drug agency said the empty containers may have contained P11-billion worth of illicit drugs but the BOC denied this.

The 2 incidents became the subject of several Senate and House hearings, with Lapeña initially denying the magnetic lifters contained shabu, only to concede later on.