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P6.4-BILLION ‘SHABU’ SMUGGLING

Aguirre to issue lookout bulletin for Faeldon

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 07:45 AM October 12, 2017

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon (left) and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said that he would issue a lookout travel order against former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and his former colleagues to ensure their participation in the investigation of the smuggling of P6.4-billion “shabu” (crystal meth) shipment.

Aguirre said that there was no need for Faeldon and his former colleagues at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to go into hiding “if they say they are confident that they will be absolved.”

“Since they are participating in the preliminary investigation, we can take that as a guarantee that they will not evade the criminal proceedings,” he said in a text message to reporters.

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Aguirre said he would immediately issue an immigration lookout bulletin order against Faeldon and the rest if the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors handling the case recommended their indictment for drug trafficking.

Neil Anthony Estrella, former BOC intelligence chief, assured Aguirre of their attendance in the DOJ’s preliminary investigation, taking back an earlier statement that he preferred to be a fugitive than spend time in jail over the smuggling case.

Faeldon, Estrella and 10 others, including customs broker Mark Taguba II, were accused by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of conspiring to sneak in the illegal drugs in violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“We have a strong faith in our justice system and our government institutions involved in the administration of justice… We will not go into hiding. We will face our accusers in court if need be,” Estrella said in a statement.

“We are confident that we will be cleared after the DOJ sifts through the faulty complaint filed by the PDEA,” he added.

Estrella, a retired Marine colonel, expressed regret over his earlier remarks, saying he was just frustrated after he and his subordinates were accused of conniving with some unscrupulous personalities to smuggle 605 kilograms of shabu from Xiamen, China, into the country.

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TAGS: Bureau of Customs, Customs shabu shipment, Customs smuggling, Nicanor Faeldon, Vitaliano Aguirre II
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