THE Department of Justice (DoJ) has junked criminal charges against former Bureau of Customs (BoC) commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and 11 other officials in connection with the entry of P6.4 billion worth of shabu in May.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said prosecutors found no probable cause against Faeldon, Director Milo Maestrecampo, Director Neil Estrella, Intelligence Officer Joel Pinawin, Intelligence Officer Oliver Valiente, Jeleena Magsuci, Philip Maronilla, Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansag, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo and John Edillor.
The resolution was signed and approved by Acting Prosecutor General George Catalan. The case was investigated by a DoJ panel headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes.
The DoJ clarified that the dismissal of the charges was subject to automatic review by Aguirre in compliance with Department Circular No. 4.
In particular, the DoJ dismissed the complaint filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for conspiracy to import illegal drugs and protecting or coddling of drug traffickers under Republic Act (RA) 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act), negligence and tolerance under Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code, and corrupt practices of public officers under Section 3 of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), for lack of probable cause.
The DoJ chief said the prosecutors cleared Faeldon on the basis of PDEA’s “failure to state with clarity the acts or omission supposedly committed by the above-named BoC respondents that would constitute violation of the offense charged.”
The DoJ also dismissed for lack of probable cause PDEA’s complaint for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Board regulation under Section 32 of RA 9165 against the agents and investigators of the National Bureau of Investigation-Anti Organized and Transnational Crime Division (NBI-AOTCD), namely: Dennis Siyhian, Marie Catherine Nolasco, Marfil Baso, Joselito Guilen, Darwin Francisco and Edgardo Kawada.
The DoJ said that on the basis of the facts of the case and evidence presented, the NBI-AOTCD was justified in retaining custody of 500 kilograms of shabu that it seized from a Valenzuela warehouse.
It argued that PDEA failed to adduce evidence showing that Hongfei Logistics corporate officers knowingly consented to or actively participated in the importation of the drug shipment.
The DoJ stressed that Emily Dee could not have maintained a drug den since she did not know that her property being rented would be used as a transshipment point of illegal drugs.
The case filed against Fidel Anoche Dee was also junked on the basis of the existence of an earlier case filed against him by the PDEA before the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City.
Taguba, Kenneth Dong indicted
The DoJ panel of prosecutors indicted customs “fixer” Mark Taguba and several others for importing dangerous drugs under Section 4, in relation to Section 26 (a) of RA 9165 before the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City.
Prosecutors also found probable cause to charge the following with “importation of dangerous drugs” under Section 4 of RA 9165: Chen Ju Long, also known as “Richard Tan” or “Richard Chen,” Li Guang Feng (Manny Li), Dong Yi Shen Xi (Kenneth Dong), Eirene Mae Tatad, Teejay Marcellana, Chen Min, Jhu Ming Jhun, Chen Rong Huan, and other unidentified individuals.