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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Gordon seeks hold departure order vs shipper of P6.4-B shabu from China
A certain Richard Chen or Richard Tan, a Taiwanese national, allegedly ordered the shipping of 604 kilos of shabu from China to Manila

MANILA, Philippines – Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon sought the issuance of a hold departure order against the alleged shipper of the P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China.

During a Senate hearing on Monday, July 31, customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba claimed a certain Richard Chen or Richard Tan, a Taiwanese national, ordered the shipping of 604 kilos of shabu from China to Manila.

"[We want] to secure a hold order for Richard Tan," Gordon said during the hearing.

Taguba said Tan owns Hongfei Philippines, which shipped the shabu through EMT Trading under a "consignee-for-hire" scheme. This is a mechanism where a consignee accredited by the Bureau of Customs (BOC), like EMT Trading, sells its services for a royalty fee.

EMT Trading owner Eirene Mae Tatad said she had no idea that the shipment included illegal drugs.

Aside from Tan, Gordon also initially wanted a travel order against a certain Kenneth Dong. Tatad and Taguba both said they dealt with Dong as Tan's middleman.

But according to the committee, Dong already left the country on July 28 for Chengdu, China.

Subpoena

The Senate blue ribbon committee is also set to subpoena lawyer Larribert Hilario, the BOC's Risk Management Officer.

Hilario is accused of misrepresenting consignee EMT Trading, allowing it to pass through the BOC's green or express lane, where there is no need to scan the shipment under X-ray.

BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon told the Senate panel that he verbally suspended Hilario pending investigation and that the officer seems to have gone into hiding.

"Since we suspended him, we cannot contact and locate him. He's nowhere to be found," Faeldon said.

Faeldon added that Hilario tried to change encoded data in the system to make it appear he did not commit fraud, by trying to omit information about the illegal shipment.

Gordon said there would be another hearing to further look into the issue.

Back in May, the BOC seized 604 kilos of shabu from two warehouses in Valenzuela City upon the tip of the General Administration of China Customs. Authorities found shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) hidden in 5 metal cylinders. (READ: Faeldon asks Duterte to probe P6.4B shabu shipment from China) – Rappler.com


https://www.rappler.com/nation/177259-g ... habu-china

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Humirit na naman ng mga tsismis si adme. Kwento ba yan ng taxi driver? Lakihan mo na dapat tip sa mga yan. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Senators see customs, Chinese 'connivance' in P6.4-B smuggled shabu
It's clear customs people are involved, says Minority Leader Franklin Drilon. If 604 kilos of shabu got past the BOC this one time, 'ilan pa ang nakalusot?'


Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia
Published 8:30 AM, August 01, 2017
Updated 4:25 PM, August 03, 2017


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COLLUSION? Senators see the involvement of Bureau of Customs officials and some Chinese nationals in the shipment of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China. Senate photo


MANILA, Philippines – Senators saw the involvement of Bureau of Customs officials and some Chinese nationals in the shipment of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China to Manila, which got past BOC monitors but was recovered in a raid on a warehouse in Valenzuela City.

The Senate blue ribbon committee conducted its first hearing on the issue on Monday, July 31. Before this, the House of Representatives conducted its first hearing as well last week, and was set to conduct a second one on Tuesday, August 1.

With the absence of key figures in the Senate, the start of the probe offered more questions than answers.

One thing, however, was clear to the senators: it would not have been possible to smuggle 604 kilos of illegal drugs from China via the BOC's express lane if there was no approval from the agency.

Senator Richard Gordon, committee chair, said heads have to roll from the top to the bottom ranks of the BOC, which is widely perceived by the public as one of the most corrupt agencies in the country.

"The gang who could not shoot straight. Either you are incompetent or corrupt. That's the whole point here. Nakakalusot sa green lane, tinutulungan ng tropa ninyo, alaga 'nyo (They get past the green lane [because] your own men assist them, you're coddling them)," Gordon said during the hearing.

Minority Leader Franklin Drilon shared this sentiment, as he wondered how much more illegal drugs were able to enter the country.

"Kung alam nilang meron, bakit hindi ma-detect? Maliwanag na kasabwat ang customs dito sa pagpapalusot ng shipment ng 604 kilos at hindi natin alam kung ilan pa. If it is possible na pinalusot ang 604 kilos through corruption, and obviously through connivance, ilan pa ang nakalusot?" Drilon told reporters.

(If they knew about it, why was it not detected? It is clear that customs was part of the scheme to allow the shipment of 604 kilos and we still don't know how much more. If it is possible that they smuggled 604 kilos through corruption, and obviously through connivance, how much more was smuggled in the past?)

Central to the controversy are BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, Intelligence Director Neil Estrella, and suspended Risk Management Officer Larribert Hilario. Faeldon and Estrella attended the hearing while Hilario was "nowhere to be found."

Also involved in the issue are certain Chinese nationals. While the Chinese government is pivotal in the seizure of the shipment, some Chinese nationals are believed to be colluding with the BOC. It was the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the General Administration of China Customs that informed the BOC of the shabu shipment.

"If some Chinese nationals were involved, I'd say, there is a big possibility," Senator Panfilo Lacson told Rappler in a text message.

"Alam pala nila eh. Dapat hinuli na nila kung doon galing," Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said, referring to Chinese authorities. (Since they knew about the shipment beforehand, they should have intercepted it there [in China].)

Consignee-for-hire

During the hearing, it was revealed that the "consignee-for-hire" scheme is still very much alive in the bureau. This is the system by which BOC-accredited consignees sell their services to smugglers in exchange for a "royalty fee."

In the case of the shabu shipment, the consignee was EMT Trading, a first-time importer. EMT proprietor Eirene Mae Tatad claimed she did not know that the shipment contained illegal drugs. Customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba, who fixed the shipment, echoed Tatad's claims.

Senators then questioned the BOC for allowing the shipment to pass through the "green" or express lane – where the shipment no longer needs document verification and X-ray inspection – when there were at least two red flags in the transaction.

BOC rules prohibit first-time importers and shipments from China from passing through the express lane.

It turned out it was Hilario who supposedly misrepresented the information of EMT Trading so its shipment could pass through the green lane, thereby easily entering the country without inspections.

Faeldon said he verbally suspended Hilario pending investigation and that the officer seems to have gone into hiding now. But senators asked the BOC chief why he did not issue a written suspension order if he really was serious.

"Since we suspended him, we cannot contact and locate him. He's nowhere to be found," Faeldon said.

Richard Tan the mastermind?

Aside from Hilario, another key figure in the controversy is a certain Richard Chen or Richard Tan. Taguba and Tatad said Tan is a shipper, but BOC officials have a different story.

Taguba described Tan as the one who hired him to fix the shipment. He claimed Tan is a "consolidator" in China. Companies that want to cut shipping costs would go to him so the fees would be divided among many senders. Taguba maintained Tan is the real importer of the illegal drugs seized.

Taguba said he dealt with Tan through a middleman, a certain Kenneth Ong. The Senate blue ribbon committee reported that Ong already left the country on July 28 for Chengdu, China.

Taguba denied any links to the illegal drugs, saying his original shipment consisted only of light materials. Two of his drivers also testified before the panel that the contents of their trucks did not weigh around 600 kilos or the volume of shabu confiscated. (READ: Senate takes custody of customs broker linked to shabu shipment)

The BOC, for its part, painted a different story involving Tan. Tan is an alleged informant of the Chinese government, as it was he who supposedly tipped both sides of the shipment.

During the hearing, it was revealed that the Chinese government wrote to its Filipino counterparts ahead of the raid, asking them to "protect" Tan and not to "punish" him – a move found suspicious by the senators.

During the hearing, Lacson showed photos of Tan with Faeldon and Estrella. He even suspected that it was Tan who helped EMT Trading with its accreditation in the BOC.

But both officials said the photos were taken on the same day of the raid, following the Chinese government agency's request of proof that they indeed talked with Tan.

Gordon, for his part, said maybe it was China's way of checking if Tan was really left unharmed.

Rappler found out that Tan is a member of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Given inconsistencies in testimonies, senators are set to summon Tan to the August 8 hearing. Gordon has also sought the issuance of a hold departure order against him.

Suspicious congratulatory letter

Senators also questioned the congratulatory letter sent by the Anti-Smuggling Bureau (ASB) of the General Administration of China Customs to Faeldon and Estrella.

In a letter dated July 17 – or nearly two months after the raid – the ASB specifically mentioned that there is only one shipment found to contain illegal drugs and that no Filipino was involved. These did not sit well with senators, who doubted why the agency would give such limiting statements.

Image

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Photo from Gordon's staff

"Parang may inililigtas silang tauhan eh (It's like they're covering up for someone)," Sotto told reporters.

"Parang nina-narrow na nila, na walang shipment involved. 'Di kaya letter by request ng Customs Commissioner 'yan para 'di na humaba investigation kasi malalagot kayo?" Gordon told Faeldon and Estrella.

(It seems they are already narrowing this down, that there was supposedly no shipment involved. Is it possible that it was the Customs Commissioner who requested [the Chinese authorities] for that letter, thinking it would shorten the investigation or they'd be in trouble?)

Lacson, meanwhile, found it suspicious and questioned the letter's "authenticity."

"Bakit magbibigay ng information ang Chinese government na hanggang dito lang ito, walang Pilipinong involved, walang ibang shipment? Masyadong constricted eh," he said.

(Why would the Chinese government provide information saying that these are the only people involved, no Filipinos, no other shipment? It's too constricted.)

Lacson also questioned why the BOC, despite the tip from the Chinese government, only checked one shipment and did not bother to inspect other shipments of EMT Trading.

"Parehong barko, parehong supplier, 'di na natin finollow up na other shipment na very similar. 'Di kaya tayo 'yung na-controlled delivery – 'pinahuli 'yung isa, lumusot 'yung 3?" he said.

(They came on the same ship, from the same supplier, but we didn't follow up on the other, very similar shipments? Is it possible they put one over us through controlled delivery – they allowed us to intercept one, but the 3 others got past us?)

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PROBE. Customs Intelligence Director Neil Estrella attends the Senate hearing. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler


https://www.rappler.com/nation/177303-c ... te-hearing

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:27 pm 
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Duterte expresses 'confidence' in BOC chief Faeldon
(UPDATED) The chief executive instructs the customs chief to 'focus on his job of serving the nation,' according to Malacañang

Pia Ranada
@piaranada
Published 6:56 PM, August 01, 2017
Updated 12:08 PM, August 02, 2017


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PRESIDENTIAL BACKING. President Duterte says he's supporting embattled Customs boss Nic Faeldon.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief Nicanor Faeldon continues to enjoy the trust of President Rodrigo Duterte.

During their meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday, August 1, Duterte expressed confidence in Faeldon, despite the entry of P6.4-billion worth of shabu from China, a controversy now subject to congressional hearings.

"The Chief Executive reiterated his trust and confidence in Customs Commissioner Faeldon and asked him to focus on his job of serving the nation in his capacity as head of Customs," said Malacañang in a statement sent on Wednesday, August 2.

Also present at the meeting were Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. The BOC is under the Department of Finance.

In the two days before his meeting with the President, Faeldon defended his agency during congressional hearings on the smuggled shabu.

Senators had questioned how the 604 kilograms of shabu could have made it through the BOC's express lane without customs personnel helping the drug traffickers.

Faeldon has sent Duterte a letter asking for an investigation into the incident.

Corruption among customs personnel is a senstitive issue for the President who has vowed to fire any appointee if he gets so much as a "whiff of corruption."

Duterte previously identified the BOC as one of the most corrupt government agencies, as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

A week after taking his oath as President, Duterte gave marching orders to Faeldon to rid the BOC of abusive personnel.

“I hope Faeldon would do his thing, stop corruption in customs," he had said in July 2016. – Rappler.com


https://www.rappler.com/nation/177380-d ... or-faeldon

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Customs officials name-dropped Paolo Duterte – broker
(3rd UPDATE) In an earlier Senate probe, Paolo 'Pulong' Duterte was linked by former Davao policeman Arthur Lascañas to a shipment of shabu also from China. He is mentioned again in relation to 'corrupt' Customs officials.

Rappler.com
Published 9:49 AM, August 08, 2017
Updated 6:26 PM, August 08, 2017



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KEY WITNESS. Mark Taguba, a 26-year-old Customs broker, tells the House of Representatives key details about corruption in the Bureau of Customs. Photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – A Customs broker who is among the key resource persons in ongoing probes into the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday, August 7, said one of President Rodrigo Duterte's sons was being "name-dropped" by individuals he worked with in the bureau.

Testifying during a marathon hearing by the House committee on dangerous drugs, Mark Taguba, a broker who admitted to paying some Customs personnel grease money to make shipments pass through faster, said several of those whom he worked with name-dropped Paolo Duterte, the President's eldest son.

Paolo "Pulong" Duterte is also the Vice Mayor of Davao City, where his father was mayor for over two decades.

The vice mayor had earlier been linked by former Davao policeman Arthur Lascañas to a shipment of shabu also from China.

Charlie Tan

During a Senate probe into the Davao Death Squad only last March, Lascañas said that the younger Duterte, who was already vice mayor of Davao at the time (early 2010), asked for his help in speeding up the release of a supposed furniture shipment from China.

Lascañas said during the same hearing that a certain Davao-based "Charlie Tan", whom Paolo Duterte had met in China, asked that he insert "souvenirs" in the container van that the vice mayor was going to ship to Davao City anyway. Paolo Duterte then suspected that drugs – shabu in particular – had been inserted in the container van, Lascañas said.

Tan was supposed to have been arrested on the spot after the van was to be opened, but according to Lascañas, Paolo Duterte instead called him up and said he would take care of Tan himself.

In an October testimony, Lascañas initially denied the existence of the Davao Death Squad and discredited another witness, Edgar Matobato. The former cop later said he was forced to deny everything and apologized to the Senate for the changes in his testimony.

Customs personnel

At the House hearing on Monday, Taguba was unable to give the full names of the Customs personnel whom he allegedly transacted with but only provided the nicknames "Tita Nani", "Jack", and "Small".

The 26-year-old Taguba had earlier been granted legislative immunity and was offered security by the House of Representatives as he testified in a legislative probe into how billions of pesos worth of shabu from China made it past the bureau. The loot was later seized by the BOC and other agencies at a Valenzuela City warehouse.

Taguba clarified that he had never spoken to the younger Duterte himself.

The vice mayor's name was mentioned during the hearing, which ended close to midnight, as legislators discussed the so-called "Davao Group" doing business at the BOC office in Davao City.

On Monday afternoon, Taguba, upon the prodding of legislators, pinpointed Customs officials whose offices had apparently been the beneficiaries of "grease money." He later clarified that he did not transact directly with the chiefs of the offices.

All of the Customs officials accused of corruption denied Taguba's allegations.

Last March, President Duterte said in a speech at the thanksgiving party of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban): "'Pag ang anak ko, anyone of them, ma-involve sa corruption, pera ng gobyerno, I will resign. Wala kayong problema sa akin. Delicadeza."

(If my children, anyone of them, will become involved in corruption, in stealing government funds, I will resign. You won't have any problems with me. Delicadeza.) – Rappler.com


https://www.rappler.com/nation/178018-c ... ling-davao

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Senate cites 2 Chinese in contempt for links to P6.4-B shabu
Richard Tan and Manny Li, the alleged shipper and middleman in the case involving P6.4 billion worth of shabu, are 'evasive' and inconsistent during a Senate hearing

Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia
Published 5:30 PM, August 09, 2017
Updated 5:55 PM, August 09, 2017


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CONTEMPT. The Senate cites Chinese nationals Richard Tan (R) and Manny Li (L) in contempt for being 'evasive' and inconsistent during the hearing on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment on August 9, 2017. Photos by Joseph Vidal


MANILA, Philippines – The Senate cited in contempt two Chinese nationals allegedly involved in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from Xiamen into Manila.

Richard Tan and Manny Li drew the ire of senators for being "evasive" and inconsistent during the Senate hearing on Wednesday, August 9. The two would be placed under the custody of the Senate.

Tan is the owner of Hongfei, the company that transported the shipment containing 604 kilos of shabu. It was also Tan who informed the Bureau of Customs (BOC) about the illegal shipment last May, upon information from Chinese Customs. Li is one of his middlemen.

Tan strongly denied allegations of involvement and questioned why he was being accused of a crime when he told the BOC about the illegal drugs.

Speaking through a translator, he said: "Why am I being charged? I should not have informed the [BOC] about it."

But senators did not buy this, with Senator Panfilo Lacson saying Tan has been staying in the country for 20 years and has deep connections in the Philippine government.

"Niloloko mo kami (You're fooling us). You've been very evasive," Lacson said. "You've been here for 20 years, ilan na ang napapatay (many have been killed), and then tons of shabu are coming from China through your facilitation."

Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon said Tan's statements do not match the contents of his affidavit. Gordon also chided him for claiming he does not understand Filipino and English, when he was heard talking with his lawyer in Filipino.

"Paano kayo mag-usap? Niloloko 'nyo ako (How do you talk to each other? You're fooling us). Let the records show that he is talking to his counsel in Tagalog... You cannot fool us here," Gordon said.

Read Tan's affidavit: on rappler's website https://www.rappler.com/nation/178229-s ... toms-shabu

Altered packing list

Senators also slammed Li, who is accused of altering the packing list to conceal 5 cylinders containing the shabu. The packing list is a document that details all items included in the shipment.

It was found that the original packing list prepared by Tan's Hongfei was in Chinese and included information on the 5 cylinders. It was then transmitted to Li before shipment to Manila.

Li then translated the packing list from Chinese to English and in the process removed the information on the 5 cylinders. When the list was passed on to Filipino brokers and fixers, there was no more information that the shipment contained such.

Wilkins Villanueva, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director for the National Capital Region, said the act was highly questionable.

"Nung nakita namin ang ipinadala ng China na packing list, nakalagay doon 5 cylinders. So may 5 cylinders talaga ibinigay ang Hongfei kay Manny Li. Pagbigay ni Manny Li kay Kenneth Dong (middleman in the Philippines), wala na 'yung 5 cranes. Naging moulder na," Villanueva told reporters after the hearing.

(When we saw the packing list sent by China, the 5 cylinders were indicated there. So there were really 5 cylinders in the list given by Hongfei to Manny Li. When Manny Li gave it to Kenneth Dong, the 5 cranes were already gone. It became moulders.)

"Para alisin mo 'yung 5 crates na nandoon 'yung drugs, may problema ka. Nakalagay do'n may moulder," Villanueva added, referring to the list received by the BOC.

(To remove from the list the 5 cylinders containing drugs, you have a problem there. They changed it to moulders.)

Lacson urged Li and Tan to prove they are not the most guilty and to name their superiors in the next hearing. – Rappler.com


https://www.rappler.com/nation/178229-s ... toms-shabu

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:28 pm 
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'Middleman' in P6.4-B shabu says Paolo Duterte just an 'acquaintance'
(UPDATED) Kenneth Dong, the alleged middleman in the P6.4-billion smuggled shabu from China, says he met the presidential son in 2008 but they are 'not close'

Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia
Published 1:02 PM, August 15, 2017
Updated 1:24 PM, August 15, 2017




Image
ACQUAINTANCE. Kenneth Dong, the alleged middleman in the P6.4-billion smuggled shabu from China, denies close links to Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. Screenshot

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – After their photos surfaced online, the alleged middleman in the P6.4-billion smuggled shabu from China denied his close ties with presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.

Kenneth Dong said he and Duterte are just “acquaintances,” contrary to reports.

“Nagkakilala kami (We met) way back in 2008 because I expanded my first branch of weighing scale in Davao. Acquaintance lang kasi hindi naman kami ganoon ka-close (Just an acquaintance because we're not that close),” Dong said on Tuesday, August 15, during the 3rd Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the controversy.

Dong is one of the middlemen of Richard Tan, a Chinese national who owns Hongfei Logistics, the importer of the shabu shipment.

During the hearing, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV showed photos of Dong with Vice Mayor Duterte and another presidential son, Sebastian "Baste" Duterte.

Dong downplayed this and said he just likes taking photos in public.

“Mahilig po ako mag-picture sa public. ‘Yan ang problema sa 'kin kaya naiintriga ako (I like taking pictures in public. That's the problem with me, that's why I become subject to intrigues),” Dong said.

Trillanes pointed to a photo of Dong with the Vice Mayor in a wacky shot which, the senator said, seemed to indicate they were more than acquaintances. Dong reiterated that he was not a close friend of the presidential son.

Image
WACKY SHOT. Kenneth Dong (in glasses) with his friends and 'acquaintance' Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte (right). Photo courtesy of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

Malacañang earlier called the release of such photos part of “propaganda.”

Trillanes then said in Filipino, referring to detained Senator Leila de Lima, “There’s a senator in jail now because of photos.” He was referring to photos of De Lima with alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and his wife in Baguio City sometime during the 2016 campaign, which the detained senator's critics had used to link her to the drug trade.

‘Hearsay’

Customs broker Mark Tagub earlier said in a House hearing that Vice Mayor Duterte is supposedly part of the “Davao Group” that is involved in smuggling and that has strong ties in the BOC.

During the Senate hearing, Taguba said there are 3 other people in the group, namely “Tita Nane,” “Jack,” and “Small.” Trillanes claimed "Small" is Davao City councilor Small Abellera Jr.

When asked about Paolo Duterte’s role, Taguba said it was “just hearsay” and that he had no personal knowledge on the matter.

Senator Manny Pacquiao, a close Duterte ally, cautioned Taguba against mentioning the presidential son’s name if he had no evidence.

“Kung di ka sigurado, 'wag mo na sabihin. Kung walang personal knowledge, 'wag mo na sabihin (If you're not sure, don't say it. If you don't have any personal knowledge, don't say it),” Pacquiao said.

Trillanes earlier said the brains behind the shabu shipment – the biggest in the country’s history by far – has close links to the government. He, however, refused to name them.

Trillanes showed 2007 documents anew – first released during the 2016 campaign – that showed the vice mayor's alleged involvement in the smuggling of rice, sugar, used clothes, and expensive cars into his city.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he would resign if there was any evidence against his children’s involvement in corruption.

In Senate hearings in 2016, self-confessed hitman and Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato and former police Arturo Lascañas Jr had accused Paolo Duterte of masterminding smuggling and protecting Chinese drug lords – a claim the presidential son denied. – Rappler.com


https://www.rappler.com/nation/178776-k ... -boc-shabu

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:29 pm 
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No evidence vs Paolo Duterte in smuggled shabu case – Gordon
'Hearsay, sabi-sabi, Papaano naman yun? That's unfair,' says administration ally and Senate blue ribbon committee chair Richard Gordon

Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia
Published 6:38 PM, August 15, 2017
Updated 6:56 PM, August 15, 2017


Image


MANILA, Philippines – Senator Richard Gordon, a member of the Senate majority aligned with the administration, does not see any evidence linking President Rodrigo Duterte's son Paolo to the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of shabu from China.

Gordon described as "hearsay" the photos presented during the Senate Blue Ribbon Comittee showing the young Duterte, who is also vice mayor of Davao City, together with Kenneth Dong, the alleged middleman of the smuggled shipment of shabu.

“Pinapakita si Kenneth Dong panay litrato. Nature na sa atin. That’s why I said ingat nang kaunti because people will always use your name. I have not found any evidence to believe that,” Gordon told reporters Tuesday, August 15 at the end of the 3rd day of the Senate hearing.

(They're showing photos of Kenneth Dong. But that's our nature. That's why I said we should be careful because people will always use your name. I have not found any evidence to believe that.)

Gordon said that during today's hearing customs fixer and broker Mark Taguba referred only to unverified information passed around by circles within the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

“Hearsay eh. Pinalinaw ko yun tanong, alam mo ba yan o sabi-sabi daw? Eh sabi-sabi, papaano naman yun? That’s unfair,” Gordon said. (It's hearsay. I asked that they clarify the question, do you know it or it's hearsay? It's just gossip. That's unfair.)

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, another Duterte ally, shared Gordon's sentiment, saying there is no need to invite the president's son to appear before the Blue Ribbon Committee.

“This is the 3rd time na narinig ko na ginagamit yung pangalan na Davao Group. Pag sinabing Davao Group kaagad na sinasabi Pulong Duterte. Wala, no basis at all," Sotto said. (This is the 3rd time I heard the Davao Group being used. If you say Davao Group, they immediately link it to Pulong Duterte. Nothing, no basis at all.)

But during the hearing, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of the opposition pointed out that pictures were used as basis to jail a colleague, apparently referring to Sen. Leila de Lima, arch-critic of President Duterte.

Gordon and Sotto were among the senators present in a meeting with the President early August. But senators said the ongoing shabu smuggling probe was not the main topic of the meeting. They said Duterte would wait for the results of the investigation before deciding on his next action.

Earlier, the Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Gordon also cleared the President from allegations of extrajudicial killings and Davao Death Squad.

Name only used?


Taguba, in a hearing at the House of Representatives, said the Vice Mayor’s name was among those included in the so-called Davao Group. The group is supposedly involved in illegal transactions in the Bureau of Customs in the city.

But on Tuesday, Taguba clarified he has no personal knowledge on the matter.

Gordon said he understood the situation of Paolo Duterte because he himself was a former mayor in Olongapo. Gordon said people then would use his name to link to different groups and business to destroy him. In the end, he said, no evidence was presented.

“Tawag sakin ng mga tao sa Olongapo sociology major daw ako, ka-sosyo ko to, ganyan. Kaya naiintindihan ko yan eh. Sasabihin nila lahat ng masasabi nila para makasira sa tao pero ang hinhintay ko ebidenysa,” Gordon said.

(People in Olongapo said I am a sociology major because I'm part of this and that. That's why I understand that. They will say anything they can to destroy someone. But what I'm waiting for is the evidence.)

Vice Mayor Duterte earlier denied involvement in the so-called Davao Group inside the BOC.

Meanwhile, President Duterte has kept on saying he would resign if there was any evidence to prove his children are corrupt.

Kenneth Dong, one of the alleged middleman in the shipment, denied he is close to the young Duterte. While there are photos depicting their closeness, Dong said they are only “acquaintances.”

In Senate hearings in 2016, self-confessed hitman and Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato and former police Arturo Lascañas Jr had accused Paolo Duterte as the mastermind of smuggling actvities and protecting Chinese drug lords. The young Duterte has denied all these. – Rappler.com



https://www.rappler.com/nation/178816-g ... -smuggling

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Customs broker: Paolo Duterte's 'friend, handler' got bribe money
(UPDATED) Mark Taguba says he met with Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte's friend and handler and paid them P5 million as initial fee

Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia
Published 1:19 PM, August 22, 2017
Updated 11:38 PM, August 23, 2017



Image
PAOLO DUTERTE AND SMALL ABELLERA. Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte (middle) with Davao City Councilor Nilo 'Small' Abellera Jr (right). Photo sourced by the office of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV


MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Customs broker and fixer Mark Ruben Taguba revealed on Tuesday, August 22, how the "friend and handler" of Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte helped him with his transactions with the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Taguba, the broker involved in the P6.4-billion worth of smuggled shabu from China, said he first sought the help of a certain Jojo Bacud for his other shipments. But when Bacud allegedly encountered problems and could no longer help him, Bacud referred Taguba to a certain "Tita Nanie."

Taguba said he first met with Tita Nanie in a mall in Quezon City. The latter supposedly told him that the Davao Group would help him with his shipments but he had to pay a one-time "enrollment fee" of P5 million first. Other members of this group include a certain "Small" and "Jack."

Taguba identified Small as Davao Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. He said he met with Abellera and Jack at a Davao restaurant in January 2017 to pay the P5 million.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed that Abellera has close ties to Paolo Duterte and showed pictures to support this.

Senate blue ribbon committee chair Richard Gordon said the panel invited Abellera to the hearing but the Davao official could not attend due to "hypertension."

During the hearing, Taguba read messages from Tita Nanie, who said Jack is the “handler of Paolo [Duterte]” and that Jack could arrange Taguba’s meeting with the presidential son. But Taguba said he had never met the Vice Mayor.

Reading a January 11 text from Tita Nanie, Taguba said: “Good am Marc [sic], will make final arrangement with Jack. He is the handler of Paolo. Now we have to advance the [money] so he can fly down to Davao to arrange your meeting with Pulong asap. During the meeting, you personally turn over the 5 million. Same manner you likewise turn over the [money] to Jack when we meet."

Pulong is the nickname of the Vice Mayor.

Trillanes said Taguba's statement is not hearsay and showed he has clear and direct knowledge about the young Duterte's involvement in smuggling.

"Sa 'kin maliwanag ito. 'Di na to hearsay – derecho siya nakikipag-ugnayan kay Small Abellera na kilala na kaibigan ni [Paolo] Duterte and pinakita natin mga pictures doon," Trillanes said in an interview after the hearing.

(To me, this is clear and not just hearsay – he dealt directly with Small Abellera, a known friend of Paolo Duterte and I've shown the pictures in that regard.)

"So the connection is very clear, nagbigay pa siya ng P5 million, parang goodwill money, so meron nang money changing hands. Hintayin natin sa susunod na hearing itong si Small Abellera, we will solidify those links," he added.

(So the connection is very clear. He even gave P5 million as goodwill money so there was money changing hands. Let's wait for the next hearing for Small Abellere, we will solidify those links.)

The next hearing is set on August 29.

Payments

On top of the P5-million enrollment fee, Taguba said he paid the Davao Group P10,000 per container. Taguba said he averaged 100 containers a week, amounting to P1 million. Jack, he said, would fly to Manila every Friday to get the money from him.

With the help of the Davao Group, Taguba said the BOC stopped tagging his shipments. Their smooth relationship went on for 3 months, until one day, Taguba said he received an alert for his shipment.

This prompted him to seek Tita Nanie’s assistance again because Jack stopped helping him. Tita Nanie then referred Taguba to another group, also supposedly based in Davao.

Taguba said this group includes a certain “Noel” and “Big Brother,” whom he called "General Capuyan."

Trillanes identified him as Allen Capuyan from the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983 and said he is assigned to Davao City. No further details about the supposed second Davao Group are available to date.

Gordon earlier said there is no evidence linking Paolo Duterte to the 604 kilos of smuggled shabu from China.

Documents from 2007, however, showed Paolo Duterte's alleged involvement in the smuggling of luxury cars and used clothes, among others.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he would resign if there is evidence to prove his children's links to corruption. – Rappler.com




https://www.rappler.com/nation/179569-m ... l-abellera

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:30 pm 
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Paolo Duterte's 'friend' denies involvement in P6.4-B smuggled shabu
(UPDATED) Davao City Councilor Nilo 'Small' Abellera Jr, who skipped the Senate probe due to health issues, confirms his meeting with Customs broker Mark Taguba

Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia
Published 10:43 AM, August 29, 2017
Updated 2:45 PM, August 29, 2017


MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Davao City Councilor Nilo "Small" Abellera Jr, a supposed "friend" of presidential son and Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, denied his involvement in the P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled from China.

Abellera was invited to the Senate probe into the shabu smuggling on Tuesday, August 29, but did not attend. In a letter sent to the Senate blue ribbon committee, Abellera said he had no "knowledge" of and "participation" in drug smuggling.

"I hereby state I have no knowledge, let alone any participation [in] the shipment of shabu from China," Abellera said in his affidavit.

In his letter, Abellera said he was still recovering from "hypertensive urgency." He said he was advised by doctors to rest for two to 4 weeks and to "avoid stress."

Abellera also said that he could attend hearings should they be set on August 31 and September 4.

Customs broker and "fixer" Mark Taguba earlier said he met Abellera and a certain Jack in Davao City in January 2017. He said he paid them an initial P5 million for smooth transactions in the BOC.

It was unclear, however, if this included the shipment of 604 kilos of shabu from China.

On top of the P5 million "enrollment fee," Taguba said he paid the so-called Davao Group P10,000 per container. Taguba said he averaged 100 containers a week, amounting to P1 million. Jack, he said, would fly to Manila every Friday to get the money from him.

Jack is the supposed "handler" of Paolo Duterte, according to a text message read by Taguba in a previous hearing.

"I vehemently deny Mr Taguba's allegations for being false, baseless, and malicious," Abellera said.

In defense of Paolo Duterte

Abellera admitted meeting Jack and Taguba but said he did not know the topic, at first. He said it was Jack who called him up to set a meeting and since he was available that day, Abellera agreed to meet with him at a restaurant.

The councilor said Jack showed up with Taguba, whom he claimed he did not know at the time, and asked for a meeting with the presidential son.

"When I arrived at the resto bar, Jack was already there accompanied by a young person whom I didn't know at the time. Jack told me he was representing a certain customs broker and asked me if I could arrange a meeting between the said customs broker and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte," Abellera said.

Abellera defended the vice mayor. He claimed he declined Jack's request for a meeting with Paolo Duterte as the latter was not involved in "such matters."

"Knowing that the Vice Mayor does not involve himself with such matters, I politely told Jack that I could not arrange such meeting. It was then that Jack introduced me to his companion who turned out to be Mark Taguba. After about 5 to 10 minutes, I excused myself from the two gentlemen and left," he claimed, adding it was the last time he encountered Taguba.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV had claimed that Abellera was a "friend" of Paolo Duterte and earlier showed pictures to support this.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III earlier told Rappler there was no evidence linking Paolo Duterte to drug smuggling.

President Rodrigo Duterte, for his part, had said on several occasions that he would resign if there is evidence linking any of his children to corruption. – Rappler.com


https://www.rappler.com/nation/180406-p ... -smuggling

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:30 pm 
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PDEA files complaint vs Faeldon, 11 others over smuggled shabu
The respondents face a string of complaints, such as allegedly conspiring to import illegal drugs, protecting drug traffickers, and violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act

Rappler.com
Published 10:00 PM, September 18, 2017
Updated 10:00 PM, September 18, 2017



MANILA, Philippines – Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and 11 others face a string of complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the P6.4 billion worth of smuggled shabu from China.

In a 23-page complaint, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) sought the indictment of Faeldon and 11 others for allegedly conspiring to import illegal drugs and protecting drug traffickers. (READ: TIMELINE: How P6.4-B worth of shabu was smuggled into PH from China)

Also named in the complaint were:

BOC directors Milo Maestrecampo and Neil Anthony Estrella
Intelligence officers Joel Pinawin and Oliver Valiente
Manila International Container Port district collector lawyer Vincent Phillip Maronilla
Lawyer Jeline Maree Magsuci
BOC employees Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansag, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo, and John Edillor
Aside from violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, the respondents are accused of obstruction of justice for "harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape" of those behind the shabu shipment.

The PDEA also accused them of negligence and tolerance, as well as violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act.

"The said incompetence and corruption effectively shielded and facilitated the escape of Chen Ju Long and prevented his immediate arrest and prospective prosecution for the importation of the 602.279 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu," the complaint read.

Also included in the complaint were the alleged importers and facilitators of the smuggled shabu:

Chen Ju Long
Chen Rong Juan
Manny Li
Kenneth Dong
Mark Taguba II
Teejay Marcellana
Eirene May Tatad
Emily Dee
Chen I-Min
Jhu Ming Jyun
The PDEA also sought the indictment of the directors and officers of Hong Fei Logistics Incorporated, the warehouse where the shabu shipment was seized:

Genelita Arayan
Dennis Nocom
Zhang Hong
Rene Palle
Richard Rebistual
Mary Rose Dela Cruz
Aside from the complaint filed by PDEA, the National Bureau of Investigation earlier filed a complaint for drug smuggling against the importers and brokers of the smuggled shabu.

The controversy has also been the subject of several congressional hearings.

On Monday, the Department of Justice started the preliminary investigation into the shabu shipment. – Rappler.com



https://www.rappler.com/nation/182573-p ... gled-shabu

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No proof linking Davao Group to P6.4-billion shabu shipment – Gordon
The Senate blue ribbon committee wraps up its probe into the shabu smuggled from China, and will now focus on the corruption in the Bureau of Customs

Camille Elemia
@CamilleElemia
Published 8:20 PM, September 19, 2017
Updated 8:57 PM, September 19, 2017


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DRUG SMUGGLING. The Senate blue ribbon committee wraps up its probe into the P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled from China. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler


MANILA, Philippines – Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon wrapped up the probe into the P6.4 billion worth of shabu smuggled from China and said the shipment has no links to the so-called Davao Group.

After 9 hearings, Gordon said he would make a preliminary report on the illegal drug shipment this week.

He said the committee would now focus on the corruption in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) following the privilege speech of Senator Panfilo Lacson on the "tara" system, supposedly led by former commissioner Nicanor Faeldon. He set the next hearing on Monday, September 25.

"Papasok na kami kay kuwan ('tara'), pero binitin ko nang konti. Hindi namin bibitiwan 'yung drugs 'pag may pumasok na bago. Pero sa drugs mag-re-report na ako," Gordon told reporters.

(We will now discuss the "tara" system but we will not drop the issue of drugs if something new comes up. But for the shabu smuggling, I will already release a report.)

"We will continue to investigate, sabi ko nga may nakalawit eh (there are still some dangling issues). Tapos na ako sa drugs para lang magkaroon na ako ng report pero 'yung sa drugs kung may lalabas hahabulin namin (I'm already done with the issue of drugs but if there is a new development, we will pursue it)," he added.

Cases against those involved in the shabu shipment will also be pursued, according to the senator.

"I will close the meeting on drugs but we will not abandon pursuit [of] the cases filed with respect to drugs. We will continue to pursue that even if we terminate this hearing," Gordon said.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) earlier filed a criminal complaint against Faeldon and 11 others before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the shabu shipment.

"We will not hesitate to drop the hammer on anyone. We will write the Ombudsman, the Supreme Court, and we will make sure the report on this investigation will be given to them," Gordon said.

Davao Group

Asked if the Davao Group's supposed involvement in the shipment will be part of the report, Gordon said there was no evidence presented against them.

Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV had accused presidential son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law Manases Carpio of being involved in smuggling. The two attended the Senate probe once and denied the accusations.

Aside from the two, the Davao Group also allegedly includes a certain Tita Nanie, who has close ties in the BOC; Paolo Duterte's friend, Councilor Nilo "Small" Abellera Jr; and a certain "Jack," who is said to be the young Duterte's "handler."

"What will figure prominently is the drug investigation... He (Trillanes) was not able to say anything when the people (Paolo Duterte and Carpio) were here. The minority was there and they said they can go home so we were not able to get anything that will be included in the report," Gordon said.

The identity of Tita Nanie remains a mystery. There have been at least 4 names floated, but so far, the closest names would be "Nani Cabato," according to Lacson, and "Nanie Cabatu Coronacion," according to Trillanes. (READ: Who is the real Tita Nanie? 3 out of 4 names stricken off the list)

"Wala pa kaming nakukuha kay Tita Nanie. Pinapahanap ko pa 'yan. Pinasok ko dumating na eroplano noong 18, walang dumating... Sinasabing 17 at walang babaeng nagpi-fit kay Nanie do'n. Sa Clark may bidding ng generator pero 'di namin makita kung ando'n 'yung Nanie. Kailangan talaga meron tayo makuha na magtuturo kay Nanie," Gordon said.

(We have not gotten anything about Tita Nanie. I am looking for her. I entered an airplane that arrived on the 18th but nothing turned up. They said on the 17th but no woman fit Nanie's description. In Clark, there was a bidding of generators but we did not see Nanie there. We really need to get someone who can point to Nanie.)

Gordon earlier denied protecting President Rodrigo Duterte and the President's family, as he has maintained he was just looking at the evidence. In 2016, Gordon, also the justice committee chairman, cleared the President of any liability in the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country. – Rappler.com


https://www.rappler.com/nation/182692-g ... avao-group

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:31 pm 
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DOJ ends probe of P 6.4-B shabu shipment

Published November 7, 2017, 3:38 PM
By Jeffrey Damicog


The Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to wrap up today (November 8 ) the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaints filed against those involved in the P6.4 billion illegal drugs shipment seized last May.

Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and his co-respondents in the case are set to file today their respective rejoinders in the case.

Since the complainants are not expected to seek to respond to the rejoinders, the panel of prosecutors conducting the preliminary investigation should declare the case submitted for resolution.

The DOJ conducted the preliminary investigation over the criminal complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) against Faeldon and other respondents.

The respondents are accused of drug importation and coddling of drug traffickers in violation of Republic Act 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Apart from Faeldon, current and former Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials and personnel who have been named as respondents include directors Milo Maestrecampo and Neil Anthony Estrella; intelligence officers Joel Pinawin and Oliver Valiente; Manila International Container Port district collector Vincent Phillip Maronilla; Faeldon’s fiance, lawyer Jeline Maree Magsuci; and BOC employees Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansag, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo and John Edillor.

Also included as respondents are facilitators of the shipment, namely, Mark Taguba II, Teejay Marcellana, Chen Ju Long, Chen Rong Juan, Manny Li, Kenneth Dong, Eirene May Tatad, Emily Dee, Chen I-Min and Jhu Ming Jyun.

Officials of Hong Fei Logistics Inc., which owns the warehouse where the drug shipment was seized, are also named respondents including Genelita Arayan, Dennis Nocom, Zhang Hong, Rene Palle, Richard Rebistual and Mary Rose Dela Cruz.

Apart from the drug charges, Faeldon and the 11 BOC officials and personnel are also accused of obstruction of justice under Presidential Decree No. 1829 for harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of the persons behind the drug shipment; negligence and tolerance under Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code; and for violating Section 3 of Republic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Li, Dong and Taguba were also accused of unauthorized practice of customs broker profession under Republic Act 9280 (Customs Broker Act) after it was found that they had no licenses from the BOC.

Joint operatives of the BOC, PDEA, and the NBI seized 604 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, on May 26 during a raid at a warehouse of Hongfei Logistics in Valenzuela City.

The shabu shipment managed to enter the country through the BOC after being declared as kitchenware, footwear and moldings.


https://news.mb.com.ph/2017/11/07/doj-e ... -shipment/

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:31 pm 
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Ombudsman to probe P6.4B ‘shabu’ shipment from China
By: Nikko Dizon, Vince F. Nonato - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:02 AM November 08, 2017


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The Office of the Ombudsman (File photo by NINO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)


Published: 8:47 a.m., Nov. 7, 2017 | Updated: 1:02 a.m., Nov. 8. 2017

The Office of the Ombudsman has decided to investigate the smuggling into the Philippines of 605 kilos of “shabu” (crystal meth) worth P6.4 billion from China in May, following inquiries into the scandal by both the Senate and the House of Representatives that have led to a leadership change at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the discovery of alleged influence-peddling at the agency by members of President Duterte’s family.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has formed a fact-finding panel to investigate the drug smuggling, which a confessed fixer linked to the so-called Davao Group that is allegedly connected to Mr. Duterte’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law, lawyer Manases
Carpio.

The Inquirer has obtained a copy of Morales’ Oct. 13 order setting up the panel. She gave it 90 days to submit a report or recommendation after receipt of the congressional inquiry
reports.

Duterte pronouncement
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by Morales’ public relations consultant Alma Tuason, the investigation was in line with “the President’s recent pronouncement for independent agencies to investigate the matter.”

The President said last week that he could not investigate his son and son-in-law because nobody would believe the results.

He suggested that independent agencies, such as the Commission on Human Rights and National Bureau of Investigation, look into the alleged involvement of his son and son-in-law in corruption in the BOC.

Payola system
The Senate and House inquiries have unearthed the “tara,” a payola system at the BOC, which has led to the resignation of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.

Mr. Duterte has replaced Faeldon with Isidro Lapeña, the former head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The Ombudsman statement said the point of investigation would be the allegation that the release of the shabu cargo by the BOC was “facilitated by public officials who were identified as members of the Davao Group by customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba II.”

Davao Group
Taguba, testifying at a hearing called by the Senate blue ribbon committee in August, said he paid off BOC officials to expedite the processing of his cargoes.

Taguba said his direct contacts in the Davao Group were a certain Tita Nani and one Jack. He also mentioned Vice Mayor Duterte and Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and nephew of Ombudsman Morales.

Taguba claimed that he met Davao City Councilor Nilo “Small” Abellera Jr. in Davao in January and that the alderman asked for P5 million in protection money for the vice mayor.

Vice Mayor Duterte and Carpio were called to the next hearing, where they denied Taguba’s allegations.

Taguba clarified that he had never personally met the two men. Outside the Senate hearings, he issued a statement clearing them of “any involvement in the shipment of illegal drugs into the country and in any [irregularities] in the Bureau of Customs.” /kga /pdi


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/943571/bre ... io-morales

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