The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said that they will appeal to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to dismiss its decision clearing former Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and directors Milo Maestrecampo and Neil Estrella of charges over the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China at Bureau of Custom (BOC) last May.
The anti-drug law enforcement agency has refuted the resolution of the DOJ that the “evidence adduced by the PDEA in support of the charges were insufficient to establish probable case.”
PDEA director general Aaron Aquino said that they are set to file an automatic motion for reconsideration.
Aquino said that the accused were clearly established in the complaint filed by PDEA.
“The participation of Faeldon and other accused were clearly established in the complaint filed by the PDEA. They were all charged with conspiracy to import illegal drugs and protect drug traffickers, as well as corruption and obstruction of justice,” Aquino said.
DOJ also cleared Customs intelligence officers Joel Pinawin and Oliver Valiente, lawyers Jeleena Magsuci and Philip Maronilla, and personnel Alexandra Ventura, Randolph Cabansag, Dennis Maniego, Dennis Cabildo, and John Edillor.
However, the High Court found probable cause to charge several others for importation of dangerous drugs. Among them are Richard Tan, owner of the Valenzuela warehouse where the shabu shipment was found; businessman Kenneth Dong; Manny Li; customs fixer Mark Ruben Taguba II; EMT Trading owner Eirene Mae Tatad; broker Teejay Marcellana; Chen Min; Jhu Ming Jhun; and Chen Rong Huan, and other unidentified individuals known only as John Doe, Jane Doe, and George Doe.
Earlier, Liberal Party (LP) senators also expressed disappointment over the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision.
“Allies are allowed to go scot-free, and only the small-time and the weak are being chased,” LP president Sen. Francis Pangilinan said.
Senator Bam Aquino, who was saddened by the decision, noted that only private individuals were charged.
“This decision is saddening because only private individuals were charged while those who connived to import drugs into the country were spared,” said Sen. Bam Aquino.