STORY OF THE DAY


49 PERSONS ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN ₱11-B SHABU SMUGGLING FACE CRIMINAL, GRAFT CHARGES



The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte remains unfazed in its fight against illegal drugs that continues to destroy the country.

On Thursday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) filed criminal and graft cases against 49 persons allegedly involved in the shabu shipment concealed inside the magnetic lifters discovered at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on August 7, 2018.

Following the discovery of illegal drugs at the MICP, similar magnetic lifters were also found abandoned in a warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite on August 10.

These believed to have contained illegal drugs with an estimated market value of over ₱11 billion pesos.

The respondents of the case include former PDEA Deputy Director General for Administration Ismael Gonzales Fajardo Jr., former Senior Superintent Eduardo Paderon Acierto, former Customs Intelligence Agent Jimmy Guban, Police Inspector Lito Pirote, Gorgonio Necessario, Joseph Dimayuga, Emily Daprosa Luquingan, SN Logistics, and Myra Tan, among others.

Charges were also filed against 15 MICP personalities.

Moreover, the agency also filed cases against entities and personalities involved in the magnetic lifters found in GMA.

PDEA chief Aaron Aquino assured that these personalities may be held liable for violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, Presidential Decree 1829, Revised Penal Code, and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Aquino clarified the PDEA found no evidence that will link former Customs Commissioner and now TESDA chief Isidro Lapeña on the cases.

However, he said they will send a copy of the complaint to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission to study the filing of administrative cases against Lapeña.

Meanwhile, PDEA Director for Legal and Prosecution Services Czareanah Aquino said they considered Guban a principal respondent and person of interest.

To note, Fajardo went missing after he was implicated by Guban in the drug shipment.

The PDEA official said that Guban who has been admitted into the DOJ’s witness protection program, would not recommend discharging him as state witness.