FILE PHOTO: Mark Taguba (center) under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigations
The arraignment of the accused in the P 6.4 billion shabu smuggling case has been deferred for the second time.
In a hearing on Friday, a lawyer for accused Customs broker Mark Taguba said they will seek a reconsideration of the court’s resolution dismissing their motion to exclude the seized drugs from the evidence.
According to Atty. Raymund Fortun, the Bureau of Customs unlawfully opened the cylinders where the shabu shipment was allegedly stored.
He said there was no search warrant presented nor was it authorized by then Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon.
“If the evidence is obtained in unlawful means or not in accordance with our laws, all of these evidence become inadmissible, these are set aside,” said Atty. Fortun.
The court gave Taguba five days to file his motion for reconsideration while the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecution team was allowed to reply afterwards.
“We also ask the same period of time, if necessary, to file a reply,” said DOJ Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Ramoncito Ocampo, Jr.
The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 decided to reset the arraignment to April 27.
Aside from Taguba, Eirene Mae Tatad, the alleged consignee of the drug shipment, was also present at the hearing.
The other accused, including Chinese businessmen Richard Tan and Kenneth Dong, remain at large.
The case stemmed from the seizure of over 600 kilos of shabu in two warehouses in Valenzuela City in May last year. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue