MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) will hold a second hearing on the cases filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), in connection with the PHP1.8 billion shabu haul last March involving Zhijian Xu alias "Jacky Co", who managed to slip into the country despite his inclusion in the Interpol watch list.
The DOJ panel of prosecutors on Friday set the next hearing on July 10 after none of the 17 respondents were able to file a counter-affidavit to give their side on the charges during the closed-door hearing.
A lone respondent, customs broker Jane Abello Castillo, was present and requested more time from prosecutors to formally dispute the charges involving drugs smuggled into the country through the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
Xu, Castillo and 15 others are facing a complaint filed by PDEA last May 31 for violation of Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs), in relation to Section 31 (Additional Penalty if Offender is an Alien) of Republic Act. No. 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as amended by Republic Act 10640.
Named as co-respondents are Dong An Dong, Julie Hao Gamboa, Fe Tamayosa, Alvin Bautista, Carlo Dale T. Zueta, Abraham G. Torrecampo, Arwin P. Caparros, Leonardo S. Sucaldito, and Mark Leo D. Magpayo, Brian Pabilona, Meldy Sayson, Rhea Tolosa, Edgardo Dominado, Jerry Siguenza, and Debbie Joy Aceron, whom PDEA accused of conspiring together in bringing the contraband into the country.
The BOC and PDEA earlier found an abandoned shipment and its hidden illegal drugs last March 5 with an estimated PHP1 billion worth of shabu hidden in 114 bags of aluminum pallets from Cambodia.
The case is in connection with an expose made by Senator Panfilo Lacson in May denouncing the decision of the Bureau of Customs to auction off a shipment of tapioca starch consigned to Goroyam Trading, which the PDEA said was intended to hide a shipment of shabu.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Clarisa Kuong chairs the prosecution panel, which also includes Assistant State Prosecutors Rodan Parrocha and Noel Antay Jr. who are hearing the case. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency