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Court resets arraignment of Customs broker Mark Taguba

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines —Friday’s arraignment of Customs broker Mark Taguba over his drug smuggling case was canceled.

His lawyer asked the court for a postponement due to a pending petition before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 Presiding Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa reset the arraignment to February 23.

Taguba’s lawyer insisted that his client is innocent in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

“All the way until it was delivered, Mark did not know what the content of that container was. So it’s a pity the DOJ indicted him in this case though his role is very minimal,” said Atty. Raymond fortune, legal counsel of Taguba.

The Department of Justice is directed to comment on Taguba’s appeal for continued detention at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

His lawyer explained that it could not be denied there are people who would want to harm Taguba once he is transferred to the Manila City jail due to his testimony before the Senate hearings.

He noted that some of the persons whom Taguba implicated in drug smuggling and anomalies in the customs bureau have already lost their positions.

“It’s not a secret at all, it’s actually pretty well known it’s to easy to get a person, pay him, from inside the jail to harm a fellow detainee,” said Fortun.

Taguba remains under NBI custody but the chief of the NBI detention cell has been directed by the court to explain the failure to deliver him to the city jail as ordered since last Friday.

Judge Montesa said that this sends a wrong message to the public because it would appear that court orders can be defied and high-profile accused is given special treatments.

Meanwhile, the court has also directed the transfer of alleged shabu shipment consignee Eirene Mae Tatad to the Manila City jail.

Tatad is also under NBI custody after she was arrested while on a vacation in Iloilo. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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PACC to conduct own probe on P6.8-billion shabu smuggling in BOC

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2018

One of the four magnetic scrap lifters which reportedly concealed P6.8 billion worth of shabu

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) expressed dissatisfaction over the result of the inquiry conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the P6.8 billion shabu shipment in the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Though the commission respects the Senate committee’s recommendations on the issue, PACC chairman Dante Jimenez said they will conduct their own investigation on the matter.

The PAAC will form a fact-finding committee to identify individuals responsible for the of smuggling of billions worth of illegal drugs into the country.

“Ang nakikita po namin dito kulang. Hindi kami nagmamarunong but we will exhaust all efforts, I will not allow this just like that na sarado na,” said Jimenez.

Aside from the BOC and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the PACC will also invite officials from the Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine Ports Authority, as well as other government agencies.

The PAAC will also tap former BOC district collector Atty. Lourdes Mangaoang to help in the investigation.

Mangaoang has previously accused former Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña of having information about the smuggling of shabu shipment concealed in several magnetic lifters.

This is why the PACC is questioning the decision of the Blue Ribbon Committee to clear Lapeña of charges.

“Actually medyo hindi ako masyadong nagulat ng na-clear si Lapeña dahil may nababalitaan na ako noon pa na pinagyayabang sa part ng nga tao ni General Lapeña na allegedly ayos na raw na nakausap na — allegedly,” said the former district collector.

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon has yet to comment on the statement of the PACC. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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DENR, BOC probe garbage shipment from South Korea

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2018

Tons of waste shipload from South Korea | Photo courtesy to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda

MANILA, Philippines — Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) assured that they are now working to immediately resolve the issue on the waste shipment from Korea that was dumped in an area in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

BOC Spokesperson Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria said they are investigating responsible parties including the consignee of the said shipment.

“You have to look the entire transaction, of course, no and get the real facts so that we can hold the people responsible liable,” said Austria.

Containers with about 1,500 tons of garbage arrived last July 21 at the Mindanao Container Terminal aboard the vessel MV Affluent Ocean.

The shipload declared as ‘plastic synthetic flakes’, was said to be consigned to South Korean company Verde Soko II Industrial Corporation.

Initial findings showed that the shipment contained used batteries, dextrose tubes, and diapers.

“I think in-accurate naman po na maluwag ang Customs kaya po tayo nalulusutan ng basura. Sana naman huwag natin pabayaan yung situation na nagiging isang malaking tambakan ng basura ng ibang bansa ang bayan natin. Kaya po ito actually hinuli ng Bureau of Customs no dahil bawal ito obviously na hindi ito dapat ginagawa,” said Austria.

The BOC says the importer and other parties involved in the issue will likely face multiple charges for misdeclaration of goods and for violating environmental laws and the Customs Modernization And Tariff Act.

“I hope that in the future our stakeholders will not be complicit to committing something like this and if our own personnel are also involved in it in any way like by willful misconduct or negligence on their part to properly scrutinize these transactions. They will be held responsible and they will be held liable for this both the erring stakeholders and as well as the erring Bureau of Customs personnel,” said Custom spokesperson.

The EcoWaste Coalition has expressed dismay over the matter which comes amid the still unresolved issue of wastes from Canada that has been languishing in the country.

“Hindi pa kasi natatapos at nareresolba yung nangyari na pagtatambak dito ng Canada ng garbage. E eto na naman at mayroon na namang kasunod na mga basura mula sa mayayamang bansa na mapupunta at tinatapon dito sa atin. Hindi kami natutuwa rito lalo na at hazardous waste,” said EcoWaste Coalition coordinator Aileen Lucero.

The DENR is now looking for ways to return the shipload of waste to South Korea. — Cathy Maglalang| UNTV News & Rescue

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DOJ to file raps vs Davidson Bangayan, et. al over rice price manipulation

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: David Bangayan

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the court to file charges against businessman Davidson Bangayan alias David Tan for manipulating the rice supply and its prices during the previous administration.

Based on the review of the resolution of Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Miguel Guido Jr, Bangayan may face charges for violating Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code or the monopoly on rice supply to increase its prices.

Several others may face charges including Elizabeth Faustino, couple David and Judilyne Lim, Eleanor Rodriguez and Leah Echevera.

Atty. Guido said that National Bureau of Investigation’s pieces of evidence is sufficient to prove that Bangayan and his confidants used the cooperative and organization of the farmers to acquire tons of imported rice and control its supply that resulted in rice price hike.

Bangayan became controversial and was summoned to a Senate meeting due to allegations that he is the big-time smuggler, David Tan.

The case of Bangayan was first dismissed in 2014, however, the new panel of DOJ resumed its study of the case under the Duterte administration. — UNTV News & Rescue

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