THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday to indict individuals, led by former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon, of involvement in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China that slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in May.
In a nine-page affidavit, PDEA argued that the respondents only presented alibis, denials, and “technical blemishes” to refute the accusations.
“It need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt, not on evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and definitely not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of guilt,” according to the affidavit.
“It cannot be said that Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act), as amended, was violated when the dangerous drugs subject of this present controversy, either through corrupt will or out of sheer incompetence, slipped past through the BOC and was brought into the Philippine soil. Such fact alone establishes that Section 4 of Republic Act 9165 was violated and importation was consummated,” the reply affidavit added.
Aside from conspiracy to import illegal drugs and coddling of drug traffickers, PDEA also filed complaints for graft, and obstruction of justice.
Apart from Faeldon, named respondents were some former and current Customs officials and employees, and Hongfei Logistics Inc. warehouse owner Chen Ju Long, alias Richard Tan or Richard Chen; Kenneth Dong, Manny Li, alleged customs fixer Mark Taguba and some National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) employees.
The respondents are expected to file their counter affidavits on November 8.
The P6.4 billion “shabu” was seized on May 26 when joint elements of the BOC and the NBI raided Chen’s warehouse in Valenzuela City.
The incident cast doubt on the government’s war on drugs because while poor users and pushers were being killed, billions of illegal drugs passed through the gates of Customs easily.
The Senate and the House of Representatives conducted separate inquiries, which eventually forced Faeldon to resign amid allegations he accepted grease money.