MANILA–The Depart-ment of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday dismissed the criminal charges filed against former Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and 11 other BOC officials in connection with the P6.4 billion shabu shipment seized in Valenzuela City last May 26.
Justice Secretary Vita-liano Aguirre II said the DOJ panel headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes dismissed the Philippine Drug En-forcement Agency’s (PDEA) complaint for conspiracy to import illegal drugs and protecting or coddling of drug traffickers under Republic Act 9165 (Com-prehensive Dangerous Drugs Act), negligence and tolerance under Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code, and corrupt practices of public officers under Sec-tion 3 of R.A. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Prac-tices Act) for lack of probable cause.
According to Aguirre, the DOJ cited PDEA’s “failure to state with clarity the acts or omission sup-posedly committed by the above-named BOC res-pondents that would cons-titute violation of the offense charged.” as basis in clearing Faeldon of the charges.
“Further, the evidence adduced by the PDEA in support of the charges were insufficient to establish pro-bable case. Thus, the Panel is constrained to take into consideration the defense raised by the respondents,” read the resolution.
Aside from Faeldon, also cleared from raps were then BOC Director Milo Maestrecampo, Direc-tor Neil Estrella, Intelli-gence Officer Joel Pinawin, Intelligence Officer Oliver Valiente, Atty. Jeleena Magsuci, Atty. Philip Maronilla, Alexandra Y. Ventura, Randolph O. Cabansag, Dennis J. Maniego, Dennis Cabildo and John Edillor.
The DOJ panel like-wise dismissed PDEA’s complaint for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) regulation under Sec, 32 of RA 9165 against the agents and in-vestigators of the National Bureau of Investigation-Anti Organized and Trans-national Crime Division (NBI-AOTCD), namely: Atty. Dennis Siyhian, Atty. Marie Catherine Nolasco, SI Marfil B. Baso, SI Jose-lito C. Guilen, SI Darwin Francisco and SI Edgardo C. Kawada.
The panel found that under the circumstances attendant to the case, and pursuant to relevant DDB Regulations and jurispru-dence, the NBI-AOTCD is justified to retain custody of the 500 kilograms of shabu which they seized, examined and investigated.
PDEA’s complaint against the corporate offi-cers of Hong Fei Logistics was also dismissed for failure of the PDEA to show that these corporate officers knowingly consen-ted to or actively partici-pated in the importation of the subject shipment.
Also, the case against Emily Anoche Dee for maintaining a drug den is likewise dismissed. The Panel finds lack of know-ledge on the part of Emily that her property being rented will be used as a transshipment point of the subject drugs.
Regarding the case against Fidel Anoche Dee filed by the NBI-AOTCD, the same was also dismissed in view of the existence of an earlier case filed against him by the PDEA before the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City.
Pursuant to Department Order No. 004 Series of January 4, 2017, the dis-missal of the cases against the BOC personnel, the NBI-AOTCD agents and investigators, the corporate officers of Hong Fei Logis-tics and against Emily Anoche Dee and Fidel Anoche Dee shall be sub-ject to automatic review by the Secretary of Justice.
Meanwhile, the DOJ panel filed information for the crime of importation of Dangerous Drugs under Section 4, in relation to Section 26 (a) of Republic Act No. 9165 before the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City against customs broker Mark Taguba and nine others.
Aguirre said the DOJ panel of prosecutors issued a joint resolution on the complaints separately filed by the NBI AOTCD and the PDEA.
In their Joint Resolu-tion, the panel found pro-bable cause for “importa-tion of dangerous drugs” under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 9165 otherwise known as The Compre-hensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as amended, against the following respondents: Chen Ju Long a.k.a. “Richard Tan” or “Richard Chen”; Li GuangFeng a.k.a. “Manny Li”; Dong Yi Shen Xi a.k.a. “Kenneth Dong”; Mark Ruben G. Taguba II ;Eirene Mae A. Tatad; Teejay A. Marcellana; Chen I. Min; Jhu Ming Jhun; Chen RongHuan; other unidentified indivi-duals known only as John Doe, Jane Doe and George Doe. PNA