Senate OKs probe of people linked to P11-B 'shabu' shipment
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate adopted on Monday the recommendation of a Senate panel to conduct a lifestyle check and further investigate personalities tagged in the controversial P11-billion crystal meth shipment that was unearthed in August 2018.
In his sponsorship speech on Committee Report No. 544, Sen. Richard Gordon, blue ribbon committee chair, noted that despite previous investigations into the illegal shabu shipments into the country, “big amount of drugs still kept coming in our country through the use of the same modus operandi.”
“It seems that we have not yet learned our lesson,” he added.
With this, the committee recommended in its report that the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Ombudsman and other concerned agencies further investigate the following individuals for both administrative or criminal liabilities:
- Eduardo Acierto
- Ismael Fajardo
- Jimmy Guban
- Marina Signapan
- Katrina Grace Cuasay
- Joseph Dimayuga
- Gorgonio Necessario
- Meg Santos
- Noli Martinez
- Girlie Umali
- Jenaline Garcia
- KC Chan
- Hsu Chung-Chun
- Zhang Quan
- Lin Tien Yi
- Lou Tian Yi
- Chen Minxuan
- Ping Cheung James
The people mentioned, Gordon said, could be held liable for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code for direct bribery and Section 7 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, among others.
The committee has also recommended that “all involved and named” in the report undergo a lifestyle check, which will include an investigation by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
“There has got to be some urgency here, I have taken the matter up a week ago with the President and told him these two people are still at large, these are the highest big fish so far that we have found in terms of drugs smuggling, [Acierto] and [Fajardo], and they have not been captured,” Gordon said towards the end of his speech.
Acierto is a dismissed police official, while Fajardo was removed from his position as Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) deputy director general for administration.
“The Senate or the Congress should not allow these guys to be running around and appearing when they want to come out, otherwise we can expect more shipments to come in here,” he added.
The senator also suggested that the budget of concerned agencies be suspended if those responsible for the smuggled shabu shipment could not be captured.
“Unless the Senate exerts pressure upon the authorities and cases are filed and we should tell them unless they capture them, I think there should even be a suspension of the budget of some of these agencies if they cannot arrest their own fellow individuals who are known to them, who are working with them through the years, in PDEA and also another officer, who not only graduated from Philippine Military Academy, but has shamed the academy by acting,” he said.
“The very fact that he’s not been captured means na talagang siya ang mastermind and we have proof of that, tahing-tahi na po iyan,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri moved to adopt the committee report and its recommendations after Gordon’s speech.
With no objections, the report was then adopted by the Senate. /atm