Model ‘drug dealer’ scores in court anewBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A Quezon City court has ordered the reinvestigation of the charges against a young businessman and model who was accused of importing ingredients for the manufacture of the illegal drug “shabu” through a courier service early this year.
Judge Elvira Panganiban of Regional Trial Court’s Branch 227 ordered the city prosecutor’s office to conduct a preliminary investigation into the drug cases filed against Marvin Sia, 27, and to submit its findings within 60 days.
The court also set Sia’s arraignment on Sept. 11 “without prejudging the resolution on this case.” The charges against Sia stemmed from an operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in January which led to the seizure of some P40 million worth of shabu and its raw ingredients.
Sia is facing eight cases for alleged importation of dangerous drugs and essential chemicals. The contraband was allegedly imported through the international courier service UPS and delivered to Sia’s house in Barangay Ugong in eight packages early this year.
The court ordered the reinvestigation after Sia, through counsel Marlon Alexandre Cruz, sought another probe in the hopes of having the charges dismissed. The accused challenged a Department of Justice resolution indicting him, for purportedly being invalid.
Sia, who was arrested on Jan. 30, was later released on orders of another Quezon City court which issued a writ of habeas corpus for his release.
In the motion which Panganiban granted, Sia said the DOJ cannot, on its own, review cases or let alone review an inquest resolution of a local prosecution office.
The city prosecutor earlier recommended that the case be set for further investigation. The PDEA then elevated the charges to the DOJ, after which Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III reversed the city prosecutor’s findings.