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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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DOJ on denying Lim’s plea to drop prelim probe : ‘We’re ready to defend our actions’

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018


The Department of Justice (DOJ) is ready to defend before the Supreme Court its decision to deny the appeal of Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim to stop the new preliminary probe into the drug cases filed against him.

This, after Lim, asked the High Tribunal to issue a temporary restraining order against the ongoing DOJ re-investigation and to reinstate the first decision of prosecutors that cleared him of the drug charges.

Lim claims in his 47-page petition for certiorari that the DOJ violated his constitutional right to due process when it opened a fresh probe over public uproar on the dismissal of his case.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is confident the Supreme Court will affirm their decision. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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HOR briefs on release of 105 ‘questionable’ containers from Manila Port

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Manila Port (UNTV News)


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Ways and Means held a briefing Tuesday, May 15, on the incidents surrounding the release of 105 questionable containers from the port of Manila.

The said containers were under alert order previously issued by Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena.

According to Manila Port district collector Atty. Erastus Austria, the said containers arrived in the country within the period of January to March this year.

Based on initial investigation, the containers were able to exit the port using fake documents. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is currently looking into a possible conspiracy between the consignee and some Customs personnel.

During the briefing, Sultan Kudarat Representative Horacio Suansing Jr. cited that perhaps the reason why the containers were easily allowed exit was because Commissioner Lapeña issued a manual alert instead of the agency’s electronic alert system.

For the part of BOC, Deputy Commissioner Natalio Etroma defended Lapeña saying the agency’s electronic alert system that time was slow so the Commissioner, with his authority, issued a manual alert.

As of this writing, the BOC has no report yet as to what items are inside the containers.

The Lower House will set the formal hearing once the members of the Committee submit their resolution on the issue to find out who were behind the release of the questionable containers. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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PAO files 3 more Dengvaxia complaints vs. Duque, Garin

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018

(L-R) former Health Secretary Janette Garin and current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III


MANILA, Philippines – The quest for justice for the victims of Dengvaxia continues as the Public Attorney’s Office today filed three more cases at the Department of Justice (DOJ.)

Respondents in the complaints include Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and former Secretary Janette Garin along with other Department of Health (DOH) officials and executives of Sanofi Pastuer and Zuellig Pharma.

The new cases stem from the deaths of Marc Axl Eboña, Rei Jazztine Alimagno and Alexzander Jaime. The PAO forensic team is convinced that their deaths were the result of Dengvaxia injections.

“Sa aming assessment, napatunayan na po kung ano po ang causes of deaths nitong mga batang halos sunod-sunod na namatay. Hindi po ito coincidental lang na 53 na po ang nao-autopsy ng pao na mayroong common pattern,” PAO Chief Persida Acosta said.

 (In our assessment, the causes of deaths of these children who died one after another are already confirmed. This is not coincidental. The PAO found a common pattern in 53 [victims] subjected to autopsy.)

Analyn Eboña, the mother of Marc Axl pleaded with President Rodrigo Duterte to act on the issue.

“Hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa po naririnig ang tinig niyo, mahal na pangulo. Lalo na sa akin na ang aking anak ay naturukan nang walang pahintulot ng magulang,” she said.

(Up to now, I have not heard your voice, dear President. Especially in my case, my child was injected without parental consent.)

 There are already 9 criminal complaints filed by PAO with the DOJ over the Dengvaxia mess. The preliminary investigation on the first cases will begin next Tuesday.

Acosta said, the President’s plan to create a panel of foreign experts to probe Dengvaxia deaths will not affect their cases. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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