NBI hunts two Taiwanese in drug smuggling, seeks Interpol assistance
THE government has sought the help of the International Police Organization in tracking down two Taiwanese men tagged in the P6.4-billion illegal drug shipment in the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation said on Tuesday.
The NBI is also coordinating with the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office to place Jhu Ming Jyun and Chen Min under surveillance, Ferdinand Lavin, NBI director for International Operations, told senators during a congressional probe.
The two Taiwanese nationals are still at large after cylinders containing about 1,500 kilograms of shabu were discovered by operatives in Valenzuela in May.
“They are in China [according] to my last information. They are closely monitoring the persons including the conduct of electronic surveillance,” Lavin said.
Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon ended Tuesday the blue ribbon committee’s investigation on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China but said that they would continue with their probe on the alleged “tara” system in the Bureau of Customs.
“We are ready to make our report. We will release it tomorrow. It will be a report based on what we gathered here,” Gordon said, but stressed the committee would continue pursuing the cases filed against those allegedly involved in the shipment.
“I will close the meeting on drugs but we will not abandon pursuit on the cases filed with respect to drugs. We will continue to pursue that even if we terminate this hearing,” Gordon said.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has filed a criminal complaint against former BoC commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and 11 others before the Department of Justice in connection with the shipment.
“We will not hesitate to drop the hammer on anyone. We will write the Ombudsman, the Supreme Court, and we will make sure the report on this investigation will be given to them,” Gordon said.
He also said they would continue with their communications with other countries to address the problem on drug smuggling.
Gordon said the next hearing, set for Sept. 25, would focus on the alleged “tara” (bribe) system exposed by Senator Panfilo Lacson in a privilege speech in late August.
Subpoenas have been delivered to seven other people who attended congressional probes that scrutinized how the narcotics-filled cylinders managed to enter the country without being flagged by the Bureau of Customs, Assistant State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes said.
On Sept. 4, subpoenas have been sent to Fidel Anoche Dee, Chen Ju Long (Richard Tan), Li Guang Feng (Manny Li), Dong Yi Shen (Kenneth Dong), Eireen May Tatad, Mark Taguba II, and TJ Marcilliana, he said.
Lavin said further details about the developments of the case would only be disclosed during an executive session with members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee due to its “very confidential” nature.
Lavin said while the Philippines did not have extradition treaty with Taiwan, they already made arrangements with Teco for the possible arrest of the two.
“We have an arrangement with Teco to extend full and close coordination in so far as the movement [and] identification of these two [are concerned]. They are closely monitoring the two. They placed the persons under the electronic surveillance,” Lavin told the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing the matter.
Lavin said the two were now in China, based on latest information they received.
Lavin refused to provide other details due to confidentiality but he said he could show the senators the exchange of communication between him and his counterparts in Taiwan.
“They are now in China, based on last information. For reasons of confidentiality, we cannot say more but we can show the exchange of communication,” he said.
Gordon told him to submit that to the Senate panel.
Lacson asked the NBI if Taiwan authorities had a case against the two.