SENATOR Antonio Trillanes 4th finally broke his silence on Thursday and defended two of his “mistahs” who have been under fire over the multibillion-peso illegal shipment of “shabu” from China.
Trillanes’ issued his statement as Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara called on concerned government agencies to immediately file cases against individuals involved in the illegal drug controversy.
Trillanes said it was unlikely that Gerardo Gambala, deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Customs, and Milo Mastrecampo, Import Assessment Services (IAS) director were involved in the release of more than 600 kilos of shabu from customs.
“Having known well enough my PMA (Philippine Military Academy) classmates, I am almost certain that they are not part of the syndicate that facilitated the release of this P6 billion shabu shipment,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes, Gambala and Maestrecampo were classmates who belonged to PMA “Marilag” Class of 1995.
They were also the core leaders of the Magdalo group, along with the Captain Nicanor Faeldon, who were responsible for the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 that exposed the alleged corruption of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
During the hearing of the House of Representatives hearing on the shabu shipment, Gambala, Maestrecampo and Faeldon all claimed that they were no longer part of Magdalo.
Faeldon even insisted that while he took part in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, he was never a member of Magdalo.
“I am part of the activities of soldiers in the Oakwood, I am part of the activities of soldiers in the Manila Peninsula, but the name Magdalo was never adopted by me in writing or in pronouncements,” Faeldon told lawmakers during the recent House hearing.
Trillanes affirmed the statements of Faeldon, Gambala and Maestrecampo that they were not part of the Magdalo Group.
But while Trillanes vouched for Gambala and Maestrecampo, he said the results of the ongoing investigation would ultimately determine their guilt or innocence.
As to Faeldon, Trillanes admitted having enough information to say that he was at the heart of the controversy.
”Once he is done malingering, I hope he musters enough courage to face the grilling of the senators and congressmen,” said Trillanes, referring to Faeldon.
Meanwhile, Angara is pushing for the speedy filing of appropriate charges against individuals behind the illegal shipment of shabu.
He noted that based on the investigation of the Senate blue ribbon committee, there was a crime committed for which no charges were filed.
“Despite the order from the President to wage a war against drugs, it seems that we’ve been ineffective in pursuing these cases,” he said.