By Analou De Vera
The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) has ordered the arrest of Customs fixer Mark Taguba and seven others over their alleged involvement in the controversial smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu shipment from China.
No bail was recommended for Taguba, Li GuangFeng alias Manny Li; Dong Yi Shen Xi alias Kenneth Dong; Eirene Mae Tatad, Teejay Marcellena, Chen I-Min, Jhu Ming Jyun, and Chen.
Presiding Judge RaineldaEstacio Montesa of RTC-Branch 46 issued the arrest warrant dated January 30, 2018 after finding “probable cause to sustain the charge” for violating Section 4 Article II of R.A. 9165” (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).
Businessman Richard Tan also known Chen Julong, the general manager of Philippine Hongfei Logistics Group of Companies, who reportedly owns the warehouse in Valenzuela City where the billions-worth of shabu shipment was seized, was not included in the arrest order because of a motion he filed in court seeking the dismissal of the charges against him.
But Tan is facing a new case – transportation and delivery of dangerous drugs, a violation of Section 5 of RA 9165 – filed by government prosecutors before a Valenzuela trial court.
Aside from Tan, similarly charged were Taguba; Li Guang Feng, alias Manny Li; Dong Yi Shen Xi, alias Kenneth Dong;Tatad; Marcellana; Chen I-Min; Jhu Ming Jhun; and Chen Rong Huan.
Under the cases now filed before the Manila and Valenzuela RTCs, the nine defendants are accused of having conspired in bringing into the country 602.279 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabumisdeclaredas kitchenware, footwear and moldings. (With a report from Jeffrey G. Damicog)